Aishwarya Ramesh

Zomato pits cravings against 'Ghar ka Khana'

Zomato's latest spots take the ordered food Vs home-cooked meals argument ahead, positioning the app as a quick fix that gives foodies what they want, when they want it.

The choice no longer seems to be between ordering food online and home-cooked meals. Zomato's new ad spots make this amply clear. The protagonists in both the ads have ready access to home-cooked food, yet they pick up their phones to get their fix of cravings. The two ads take place at home and in office, and position food delivery as a quick fix reward that elevates their mood when the protagonists don't get what they want.

This isn't the first time we've seen a food delivery app take this stance. In 2019, rival food delivery app Swiggy created a campaign in association with creative agency Lowe Lintas. The ads feature home-cooked meals - made complete with an order from Swiggy. In a detailed article, we analysed these ads and the insights that they were based on. One of the ads plays on the insight of different family members having different food preferences. It's no longer a situation where the users have to choose between ordering from Swiggy, or cooking on their own. Swiggy is positioning its brand as a way to complement home food, a.k.a as Ghar ka Khana's frenemy.

Karthik Hariharan, business head (South) - FoxyMoron, likes the thought the ad is based on. "It appears that the content is focused on a younger audience profile, who may not have too much of associated guilt with ordering food, as projected. They would be natives and absolutely comfortable doing so, and more than often are far more open to give into temptation. On the contrary, a showcase of a slightly older audience is where this may need to be addressed."

Karthik Hariharan
Karthik Hariharan

He adds that as far as the treatment of Ghar ka Khana goes, in these ads, it's not to erode the equity of home-cooked food, but rather to emphasise on the convenience and variety that is at the heart of the food delivery business. "The idea hinges on taking on monotony that is associated with home food, which we often convince ourselves is good enough. I, for one, can testify this behaviour. While I do have home food, there's the urge to see what else is on offer. Ghar ka Khana is about comfort, and not temptation, and that will remain so. The insight here is that too much comfort can be monotonous. And, our internal guilt associated with food from outside often turns into too much of self-rationalisation to turn yourself away from temptation," he concludes.

According to Sahil Siddiqui, AVP - creative strategy, WATConsult, the ads look like a direct-attack at home cooked food in a light-hearted manner. “The objective doesn't seem to demean home food (mother enjoying the butter chicken is a saving grace) but tease the consumer on their inherent weakness. The biggest competitor in-principle for a food ordering app is home cooked food. This is a creatively crafted trojan horse attack at home food riding inside the impulse to order yourself a pizza,” he comments.

Sahil Siddiqui
Sahil Siddiqui

Siddiqui further explains that this is an attempt to short circuit the decision making process – the one that normally stops someone from ordering food and makes them opt for home cooked meals instead. “Convenience has always been at the core of many popular phenomena. Yet I think it's a stretch to say that Ghar Ka Khana has lost equity to food delivery apps. In promoting impulse behaviour, it highlights a behaviour of our current times - that multitude of choices have made consumer more confused than happy,” he says.Siddiqui opines that overall, this is a brave approach given how market is geared towards healthy eating messages and carefully planned meals. “I like it because a majority of consumers suffer from impulse drives and this ad series is a great validation for the ones who want to give in. I also dislike it because each featured dish scores low on health metrics. Thus promoting not just eating out but eating out unhealthy,” he signs off.

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