Aishwarya Ramesh

Swiggy repositions Ghar ka Khana as a frenemy

Swiggy isn't competing with Ghar ka Khana anymore - it's complementing it.

Swiggy's been having a hectic year. Amidst brand collaborations across categories, it has been doing some interesting work in the advertising space. Earlier this year, we saw Swiggy's Voice of Hunger campaign leverage Instagram's voice notes feature - a campaign conceptualised and created by Dentsu Webchutney. It also advertised heavily during the World Cup and the IPL.

Swiggy's newest campaign consists of two ads placed in a home-like scenario. Lowe Lintas is the agency that has conceptualised and created these ads. The ads feature home cooked meals - made complete with an order from Swiggy. One of the ads plays on the insight of different family members having different food preferences. It's no longer a situation where the user has to choose between ordering from Swiggy or cooking food on their own - Swiggy is positioning their brand as a way to complement home food, a.k.a as Ghar ka Khana's frenemy.

This isn't the first time Swiggy has used this line of thinking. In 2018, this ad has the same message - that Swiggy makes a meal complete.

Rajesh Sharma, planning head, Mumbai at McCann Worldgroup believes that consumers are a few steps ahead of Swiggy. “Consumers are repurposing food delivery apps in their own peculiar ways. (Indian consumers do this all the time – even a missed call was a message at one point.) What Swiggy does well is acknowledging and celebrating these new realities and sharing them with the world to find more ways/occasions for using their app. This has been a recurrent theme in Swiggy’s past few campaigns.

As far as the strategy goes, Sharma begins by stating that food is such a fundamental part of our culture, brands don’t change it; consumers do. “Ghar ka khana/Maa ke haath ka khana are, and, will always be at the top of the food hierarchy. And I don’t believe this is going to change in our lifetimes. That being said, modern realities call for different solutions. Eating out was an indulgence before it became a necessity. But eating out (or outside food) over time also reinforces the superiority of Ghar ka Khana. Ghar ka Khana has no alternative, which is why it has no real competition. What these ads do is present the brand’s relevance even in a household where Ghar ka Khana rules. Swiggy seems fine with the food delivered by it playing second fiddle to mom’s cooking. And it’s a good place to be with the audience it has in mind,” he says.

Rajesh Sharma
Rajesh Sharma

He opines that the campaign presents Swiggy as a family’s pantry – an ally of the kitchen. He points out that Swiggy is either sharing the workload of the kitchen or ensuring that all members of the family have their choice of food on the table. “These are welcome themes of Indian middle class families. It also extends the brand to new consumers by showing them new ways and occasions to use it. Overall, a good concept. The creative execution makes it slice-of-life and real, the light humour rewards the viewer for having spent those 30 seconds,” he says.

Prateek Srivastava, co-founder of ChapterFive Brand Solutions and a former adman says he liked the ads and their execution. He points out that there are numerous occasions when food is cooked at home, but the members eating it feel it could be supplemented with something different.

Prateek Srivastava
Prateek Srivastava

"The objective of this campaign seems to be to create more avenues of consumption for the brand. Most of the time, when food is prepared at home, a consumer will skip ordering food online. This is to create relevance for Swiggy in both situations," he says.

According to him, placing a Swiggy order on the same table as home cooked food could be a subliminal message about the quality of the food ordered - that it's on par with home cooked food. Srivastava also draws attention to the fact that the ads are placed in a familial set-up - "They're making a statement about how they can serve your family. It's not about single consumption at all. It's targeting the homemakers and families, not just millennials. In fact, homemakers tend to frown on the thought of ordering food online. This campaign is trying to normalise it and create a new consumption avenue. They have used the familial set-up and similar messaging in the past with their IPL ads too," says Srivastava.

He also points out that in the case of both the ads - the food items ordered were ones that could not be prepared quickly. "Chhole needs to be soaked overnight and the process to prepare garlic bread with yeast and all the other ingredients is also a long one. These are not items that can be cooked at short notice - hence Swiggy positions itself as the one that bridges the gap," he signs off.