Shubhankar Sen

Ami Dulal Chandro: How the 'Khushir Bahon Swiggy' campaign reshapes traditional Pujo narratives

The ad meaningfully weaves Pujo nostalgia into Swiggy's brand ethos, crafting a narrative that subtly pays homage to a previous campaign.

Durga Pujo, a celebration deeply embedded in Bengali culture, traditionally involves the worship of the goddess Durga and her divine children as they visit the mortal realm, carried by symbolic vehicles or bahons. This year, the goddess is said to arrive on an elephant bahon, symbolising auspicious joy, peace, and prosperity.

Swiggy's new Pujo-themed campaign Khushir Bahon Swiggy—Swiggy the vehicle of happiness—introduces the enchanting charm of a classic rupkothar golpo—a Bengali fable—to this festive motif. Crafted in collaboration with Brandmovers India, the campaign puts a delightful twist on the traditional narrative of joy and happiness that the bahons bring into our lives amid the Pujo festivities.

Much like the cherished tales woven into the fabric of many Bengali childhoods, the ad unfolds against the backdrop of real-life bahons of Maa Durga and her divine children in the city of Kolkata. The narrative beautifully weaves a story where the bahons come to life, gathering to discuss the arrival of a mysterious new bahon in town.

This enigmatic new bahon stands out by traversing the streets on a two-wheeler, shouldering a sizable bag on his back, and diligently visiting homes to deliver items.

What ensues is a delightful chase culminating in the reveal of the bahon as Dulal Chandro, a Swiggy delivery partner, delivering the classic Bengali dish of luchi and aloor dom (a common Bengali dish akin to puri sabzi) to a family’s doorstep.

The ad concludes with the divine bahons endearingly dubbing Dulal as a khushir bahon—a vehicle of happiness.

The storytelling nature of the ad is further accentuated by the evocative bengali track produced by Indian music director and composer Raja Narayan Deb, who also lends his voice to the character of Dulal Chandro in the ad.

Infused with animal noises, voice acting, and abrupt sound effects, it creates a nostalgic feeling reminiscent of listening to a fairytale from our grandmother as a kid.

Now, for every Pujo-loving Bengali foodie, a perplexing question may arise: Why emphasise aloor dom, a humble dish, instead of having Dulal deliver more extravagant and mouth-watering options like Kosha mangsho, Chicken chaap, Rui macher kalia, Egg roll, or any of the myriad other Pujo’s festive delights that could instantly tempt viewers into making a quick visit to the Swiggy app?

Well, the choice to use aloor dom in the narrative does hold a certain deliberate charm. In a festive season brimming with memorable Pujo ads, Swiggy's latest campaign distinguishes itself by purposefully eschewing the common tropes of visually enticing dishes and extravagant Pujo-themed aesthetics. Contrary to the norm, Swiggy's ad takes a refreshing detour.

The campaign's standout feature lies in its unwavering focus on Swiggy's core essence – that of being a restaurant aggregator and food delivery company. Swiggy underscores its value proposition in the food delivery space through a grounded portrayal of its role in the local setting of Kolkata.

The decision to place the spotlight on Swiggy's delivery partners further amplifies this distinction. While other ads may focus on the allure of great food, Swiggy's narrative hones in on the integral role played by its delivery partners. This choice not only sets the brand apart in its marketing approach but also underscores the company's commitment to highlighting the service aspect of its offerings.

Ami Dulal Chandro: How the 'Khushir Bahon Swiggy' campaign reshapes traditional Pujo narratives

In a nuanced touch, the character of the delivery partner in the ad is named Dulal, meaning 'loved one.' This thoughtful nomenclature may well be Swiggy's way of expressing affection and appreciation for its hardworking delivery team.

Swiggy's departure from conventional advertising norms is not a recent development; rather, it aligns with the company's trend of drawing focus to its delivery partners. A notable instance of this approach unfolded in 2018 with the launch of Swiggy’s What's in a Name? campaign.

The What's in a Name? campaign prompted Swiggy’s customers to move beyond generic identifiers like "Swiggy" or “Rider” when addressing the platform’s delivery partners and instead refer to them by their actual names.

By doing so, Swiggy sought to humanise the entire delivery process, acknowledging and appreciating the individuals responsible for the swift and efficient delivery of meals from restaurants to doorsteps.

Before the hustle and bustle of Pujo takes over, Swiggy subtly reinforces this commitment in the Khushir Bahon Swiggy ad, by not labelling the bahon of happiness simply as just another Swiggy delivery partner. Instead, it takes a brief yet meaningful moment to acknowledge him by his name, Dulal Chandro.

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