Yelp Nearby


Normally, re-orgs are a source of stress. But when the Yelp Creative team was moved from marketing to the product org we had two big reasons to celebrate:

  1. Every week, we got a free lunch with the engineers
  2. We got to participate in Yelp hackathon

Our team participated in Hackathon for the first time. There were no software engineers on our team, only writers and graphic designers, so we used hackathon to cook up an entire brand campaign from concept to execution.

The focus of our campaign was a simple but unheralded part of the Yelp app called Nearby.



Robbie and Cece


V looking really tired

Shannon testing a prototype

Hawaii Joe taking shape

Sketch of the final puppets


Our main concept was a series of puppets with identities and backstories. They represented the different business types you might interact with on Yelp. They would appears in ads, videos, and commercials related to Yelp Nearby.

We designed a series of collectible stickers with each of the characters and their catchphrases:

The puppets also starred a series of photoshoots with the most photogenic yelployees we could find:

In the end, folks at Hackathon were excited to see something different. Our booth had a puppet photobooth and got lots of buzz. Though our concept was not greenlit, it led to a lot of great attention for our team.