Aishwarya Ramesh

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi teams up with Zepto for three ‘grocery emergency’ ads

The agency recently won the branding and communication mandate for the quick commerce app.

Few things in life constitute a grocery emergency. Ads usually don’t position the emergency crunch situation, where groceries are required.

The latest entrant in the quick grocery delivery market is Zepto. It is a hyperlocal grocery app co-founded by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, two 19-year-old Stanford dropouts. The company recently announced a fundraiser of $60 million, led by Glade Brook Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and others.

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, part of the Publicis Groupe, won the branding and communication mandate for Zepto. It released a campaign with three ads. Out-of-home ads are set up in the cities/areas that Zepto is expanding to.

Zepto OOH ad in Mumbai
Zepto OOH ad in Mumbai

With its optimised network of ‘cloud stores’ or micro-warehouses, Zepto is able to consistently deliver in 10 minutes. The company is expanding quickly across Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR, and will be launching in key areas across Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata in the next 30 days.

In the past month, since coming on-board, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi has already developed the brand livery, retail and collateral branding, and gone live with Zepto’s first campaign.

In a press release, Palicha, who is also the CEO of Zepto, said, “Q-commerce has the potential to change the way India shops forever, and that presents a rare opportunity to build a category-defining brand.”

Speaking to afaqs!, Kartik Smetacek, joint NCD at L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, mentions that the idea the agency ultimately wanted to communicate was of 10 minutes grocery delivery.

“The real task for the creative team was to create a context for that. The challenge was that some people may feel - why do I need groceries so fast? Can’t I place a leisurely grocery order when I get free time? But with Zepto, it’s not necessarily a grocery list situation. There’s no minimum order. So, you can order even one item and have it delivered in 8-10 minutes. Our job was to create that context.”

In the same release, Debarjyo Nandi, executive vice president, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, added, “We are excited to get on-board the Zepto speedwagon and fuel its hyper-growth plans. We are on the cusp of changing not just the delivery landscape in the country, but consumer behaviour itself. Grocery planning and shopping, as we know it today, will soon become redundant.”

Smetacek mentions that keeping all of this in mind, the team thought of situations, where a person may need toiletries or food immediately. He says the objective was to keep the tone light to create something that can be watched more than once. “The insight of quick and immediate is what we built the campaign on.”

Kartik Smetacek
Kartik Smetacek

Swiggy and Dunzo have also emphasised on the element of speedy delivery in their ads, but the visual treatment of Zepto’s ads is quite different.

“In the end, grocery emergencies are not life and death emergencies. But sometimes, it feels like it. That's what we wanted to emphasise on with our ads. A diaper-less baby lying naked is an accident just waiting to happen. That moment when you realise you left the milk on, can create some action movie-level of drama as you rush to the kitchen to switch the stove off,” Smetacek mentions.

He cites American show Seinfeld as one of the inspirations for the ads and their visual treatment. “When you take something not so important and make it feel very dramatic... On the show, you have whole emergencies around mundane things like running out of soup or losing a car in a parking lot. That was something we tapped into for this campaign.”

Among all the grocery delivery businesses that have newly arrived on the scene, Smetacek calls Zepto the newest kid on the block. He explains that Zepto has a hyperlocal focus and its emphasis is on mastering the micromarket, a.k.a, the localities that it opens businesses in. Zepto's previous ads starring actress Maanvi Gagroo also have a similar theme.

Like Dunzo Daily and Swiggy Instamart, Zepto also has a model where it sets up stores in every area it operates in. The company is very specific about keeping the promise of delivering groceries in 8-10 minutes.

Recently, Zepto opened new stores in Powai and Mulund - two localities in Mumbai. Every time the company expands into a new area, it puts up OOH ad in the locality. Smetacek calls the company young, hungry and one that plans to expand by the day.

Zepto's billboards
Zepto's billboards
The billboard on the road in Mumbai
The billboard on the road in Mumbai

“It was one of those rare times when the agency folks were the oldest in the room. Zepto has a very young team and their energy is infectious. When it came to the pitch, we presented a strategic deck, along with a set of concept cards. The company immediately internalised the ideas and was willing to get on-board with us,” he signs off.

Campaign Credits:

Agency: L&K Saatchi & Saatchi

CEO: Paritosh Srivastava

Joint NCD: Kartik Smetacek

Chief strategy officer: Snehasis Bose

Executive vice president: Debarjyo Nandi

Strategic planning: Shifra Baviskar

Creative team: Rishabh Dave, Divakar Shetty, Pushan Mukherjee, Yash Ambre, Ambadas Wadisherla

Account management: Nivedita Lahiri, Ashmitha Shetty, Ajay Pattem

Senior agency producer: Vijay Vigamal

Production house: Content Factory

Senior producer: Meesam Raza

Content producer: Shivani Mehra

Director: Amit Satyaveer Singh

DOP: Arnab Gayan

Music: Anand Bajpai

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