Benita Chacko

Swiggy offers to serve Onam Sadhya this year with a sprinkle of Mohanlal magic

The food delivery app's ad for Kerala's harvest festival highlights its most intrinsic element- the festive lunch.

In ancient times, changing seasons would herald the arrival of a festival. In modern times, it is festive ads that get us into a festive mood. And Swiggy's advertisement for Onam welcomes the festival with much fanfare. The food delivery app's ad highlights the most intrinsic aspect of Kerala's Harvest festival - Onam Sadhya or the festive lunch. 

Created by Mind Your Language, the ad has a fun twist to one of AR Rahman's earliest compositions 'Padakali' from the Malayalam film 'Yodha'. Originally featuring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and actor Jagathy Sreekumar in a comic face-off, it is one of Malayalam cinema’s most iconic songs. More than three decades since its release, it still holds nostalgic value amongst Malayalis. The ad has whipped up fresh lyrics that blend in a delectable array of Onam Sadhya dishes.

Traditionally the Onam Sadhya is prepared at home. Nonetheless, with 26 dishes constituting the feast, there is a growing inclination towards ordering these items. The ad positions Swiggy as the go-to platform to order during the Sadhya as people can be seen serving the meal from Swiggy boxes. 

The ad showcases all the key ingredients of Kerala's harvest festival. It opens with a spirited game of 'Vadamvali' (tug of war), a popular game played during the festival. Everyone is wearing the traditional Kasavu fineries, adding to the cultural authenticity of the depiction. The sumptuous traditional feast, served on banana leaves, culminates with three varieties of payasam. And then someone asks the important question "Are there only three varieties of payasam?" In response, the advertisement presents Swiggy as a convenient solution, effectively highlighting its prompt delivery service.

Furthermore, the advertisement adds an element of engagement by offering an incentive to viewers who stay till the end – a reward in the form of a Rs 150 discount coupon.

Swiggy has been creating south-focussed ads for some time now. In 2022, it launched its quick grocery service Instamart's brand campaign featuring Simran and R Madhavan engaging in everyday banter in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam.

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