The origins of the 'Tonight, I’ll Be Eating' campaigns

Tayla Foster
By Tayla Foster | 13 September 2022

Uber Eats' brand campaign Tonight, I'll Be Eating via creative agency Special Group launched in 2017 featuring nine different celebrities announcing their dinner orders.

The objective was to become the most salient brand for online food delivery in Australia, by allowing audiences to tap into the feeling that access to a whole world of food options evokes. 

Celia Garforth, head of strategy at Special Group: "Back then, the Australian takeaway food category was dominated by offline (phone), direct-to-consumer players like Dominos, McDelivery and Pizza Hut. Although Menulog had been around for six years offering a desktop-only service, very few Aussies had ever tried online food delivery (OFD).

"Yet the space was getting increasingly competitive with Deliveroo and Foodora launching in 2015 & 2016 respectively.

"As a fourth-to-market player, Uber Eats needed a launch campaign with instant impact to ensure they didn't get left behind during the early gold-rush for OFD category market-share."

The 2017 Tonight, I'll Be Eating campaign kicked off with singer Boy George, from Special Group and The Glue Society, in a suit surrounded by flamboyant hats and make-up staring down the barrel of the lens describing oriental cuisine and dessert.

Australian actors, football players, chefs and public figures came aboard to spruik the online food delivery service.

For a "noice" night in, Kim Kardashian appeared alongside Australian actress Magda Szubanski in a rendition of Kath & Kim in 2019.

In 2021, Uber Eats recruited comedian and creator of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen, alongside Australian tennis players, Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios to feature in the Australian Open campaign, Tonight, I’ll Be Eating for Love.

Later that year the Uber Eats campaign featured The Wiggles and English television personality Simon Cowell as he joined the band as the newest ‘Grey Wiggle’.

This was followed by an unlikely pairing, the Irwin family and Hollywood socialite Paris Hilton.

The Tonight, I'll Be Eating campaign enjoyed international success, spreading to the US and Canada, debuting with a showdown between megastars Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart in the international TVC, 'Tonight, I'll Be Eating Better Than Him'.

Garforth: "The intent was to ‘own’ dinner-time (the core category usage occasion), normalise a new behaviour of online food delivery and tap into the magical feeling of having instant access to anything you want to eat.

"We established a new dinner-time catchphrase for the nation that captured the unapologetic indulgence of ordering whatever you want for dinner.

"Using a piece of language that felt unusual and culturally sticky, we used celebrities to seed the catchphrase in as many places as possible, in ways that felt like entertainment, not ads.

"The ad construct of the campaign blurs the lines between reality and entertainment. Celebrities are set in hyper-real ‘worlds’, but playing themselves (or exaggerated versions of). They announce their dinner order by ‘breaking the fourth wall’, talking directly to viewers.

"The written line is left open - an invitation for people to play with it in culture, while influencers and talent seed the catchphrase more organically on social media."

The head of strategy attributes the success of the Uber Eats platform to the traction the campaign and those that stemmed from it generated.

Garforth: "Within a year, Tonight, I’ll Be Eating, as well as the cheeky tone-of-voice and distinctive brand assets it created, were taken right through the organisation, from CRM and always-on social activity, to partner co-marketing, merchandise and point-of-sale.

"It’s even printed on the now-iconic brown delivery bag!

"Uber Eats is one of those rare, brave clients who’s willing to take a leap of faith with you and back an unconventional idea - not just once, but time and time again with wholehearted commitment. It’s been a privilege to be part of the journey, helping the brand grow and evolve along with the creative platform."

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