Faasos puts a wrap on eating dilemmas

By Aditi Srivastava , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 10, 2015
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The food technology company's new, quirky ads depict the plight of consumers who are perennially figuring out 'what to eat' and end up being disappointed each time.

While food outlets and apps are mushrooming in the market, access to good, healthy food remains a pet peeve of consumers, especially those living away from home and not well-versed with cooking. Food technology company Faasos addresses this dilemma in its new campaign 'Aaj Khaane Mein Kya Hai?', in a humorous way. The campaign, conceptualised by Lowe Lintas Mumbai, was launched on September 8 and will be on air for a couple of months.

Revant Bhate

The company recently shut shop its website because 97 per cent of its customers placed orders solely via the app. About going app-only, Revant Bhate, chief marketing officer, Faasos, says, "Unlike other consumer internet businesses, Faasos has a distinct advantage with its mobile app. It is not just a representation of the website offering, but the entire proposition only works best on the app."

He attributes this benefit to the company's proprietary technology which works on a real-time basis, enhancing the app experience. Faasos prides itself on the fact that it has seen one million Android app downloads and about 150,000 iOS app downloads till date, in addition to clocking almost 300,000 orders on a monthly basis.

Its latest ads feature two young working males - Andy and Montu - who go through the grind of figuring out what to eat for lunch in office and also for dinner, once back home, on a daily basis. It is here that a voice-over tells them to download the Faasos app which offers tasty answers to the routine question - 'Aaj Khaane Mein Kya Hai?'. The target group for the current campaign is individuals in the age bracket of 18-35 years, most of who are living outside their hometowns/working alone/staying with friends/recently married or Double Income No Kids (DINK) couples.

On featuring urban, young working males as protagonists, Bhate says, "Data shows that most of the online purchases in the food segment are done by males (more than 75 per cent). Also, the target group between 18- 35 years of age goes through this grind almost every day - missing meals due to meetings, not having domestic help who they can rely on and, most importantly, not having family (in most cases, mothers) around to keep ensuring that one is eating healthy and nutritious food. Hence, Faasos is the pan-India solution to their problem, as these individuals also travel frequently between cities and, thus, will be able to try out the different flavours, local cuisine and taste options that we provide."

Arun Iyer

The company has worked around the colloquial phrase - and perennial question - 'Aaj Khane Mein Kya Hai'. Bhate believes that most urban Indians have not got an optimal solution for their "everyday meal problems." The ads touch upon situations faced by the TG such as missing lunch due to workload, maid not turning up or being in a new city. "The other end of the problem is to make do with the same kind of food every day, which again makes it monotonous for most individuals in the 18-35 age group who are making a decent living, but miss out on a good everyday meal which is not just a basic utility, but also a key emotion/mood driver," Bhate adds.

The company also took to fun and quirky print advertising in HT Cafe's Mumbai edition recently with two full-page ad jackets titled 'Four Meals In One App' and 'Why Eat', which created buzz.

Talking about the ads, Arun Iyer, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas Mumbai, opines, "While the strategy to make Faasos top-of-mind with that niggling everyday question of 'what to eat' was clear, in the campaign executions we had to pitch their 'everyday plight' just right. So, our creative approach was to hold a mirror to their reality, when it comes to this everyday question, and pepper it with a dash of humour to create an intelligent yet fun brand tone for Faasos."

Faasos offers a variety of menu options for all four meals of the day and also offers a localised menu to every area in the 11 cities it operates in. Moreover, the menus are changed regularly, adding a surprise quotient for the customer. Currently operational across eleven cities - Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida/Indirapuram, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chennai, including Tier II cities such as Indore and Vadodara - the company has plans to expand to other Tier II cities as well, in the next six months.

Interestingly, the ads also communicate, although subtly, the company's changed positioning. While earlier most people associated it with only wraps and rolls, the current ads showcase Faasos as a platform where all four meals of the day can be ordered. Its new tagline, 'We Got Your Food. You Got Our App?', reiterates that.


Sabuj Sengupta

Sumeer Mathur

Sabuj Sengupta, executive creative director, Hakuhodo Percept, finds the ads to be quirky and insightful. Talking about the creative execution of the ads, he says, "I really liked the way they take on competition by saying the F word. Single men face this issue every day. The ads have an interesting execution too. I am sure this communication will be good for the brand."

He finds the Faasos ads to be far better than those by some of the other food ordering apps. But, he finds the concept of 'Full Meals' a bit confusing. "Consumers hardly see commercials like ad guys. They don't dissect so much and only care about the overall idea. If it was about full meals, then it should have been more focussed on that thought," he adds.

Sumeer Mathur, senior vice president and head, strategic planning, DDB Mudra North, appreciates the 'relatability' factor of the ads. "The ads start off on a very promising note. 'Aaj Khaane Mein Kya Hai?' will be instantly relatable and will connect with all types of viewers (even housewives who are probably tired of answering this question). The insight positions the brand as a regular source of daily meals and not as an app for ordering restaurant food home, which is where most food apps in the category operate in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are used as occasions for building relevance for the app," he notes.

However, he points out that the ads portray meal occasions as merely utilitarian, and do not talk about how different Faasos is from the 'boring food' consumers have been eating. "I love the insight and the advertising, but I don't feel like trying the app," he states, matter-of-factly.

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