The campaign has been created by Dentsu Webchutney and aims to create a '2D restaurant experience' with green screen technology.
During the COVID-induced lockdown, most restaurants and cafes remained shut. And as India attempts to 'unlock', there's paranoia. Enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe now can, indeed, be a harrowing experience. It's in this context that Swiggy has introduced a new campaign #SwiggyFoodoShop.
Using 'green screen' technology and augmented reality (AR) on Instagram (IG) filters, one can be transported to a table at Pizza Hut, a booth at McDonald's, or even a 'pani puri' stall. It's interesting to note that both Pizza Hut's and McDonald's logos feature in the background of these filters.
Sanket Audhi, creative director, Dentsu Webchutney, says that he and his team had been working on creating a unique filter since they observed 'Moody Tones' by Thai Furtado constantly resurfacing on their IG stories.
A lot of hours were collectively spent on TikTok and IG, analysing the kind of effects, songs and formats people employed. Audhi reveals that the tech team features an unlikely duo of in-house cinematographer Gerson Pearson and former engineer-turned-copy supervisor Benedict Gershom. They adopted and worked with Spark AR - the platform required to create filters on IG and Facebook (FB).
"As soon as IG supported AR filters, we had something up our sleeves. From then onwards, it was just about finding the right brief to connect it with," says Audhi. He explains that 'green screens' have been around for ages, but mostly privy to studios and professional setups.
He says that the idea of the filter was to release the 'green screen' effect at scale on social platforms, and that's how #SwiggyFoodoShop was born. He says creating a lens was quite a challenge as the filter had to segment the background and identify human faces.
"Unlike usual IG filters, our filter came with a secret weapon - allowing users to add their own custom backgrounds so that they could show love and support to their favourite restaurants. After lines of code, innumerable cups of coffee and a few rejections (read: learnings) from FB, we had created a filter that was optimised to run on most phones in the market - a rewarding experience nonetheless," Audhi recalls.
The last time Swiggy collaborated with IG, it was to add a food ordering feature to IG stories. It was done as an effort to support small businesses. The sticker was to help food businesses stay in touch with their customers and allow them (the customers) to place an order, directly from an IG story. Tapping on the sticker gives users two options - to add a similar sticker to their own story, or to order food from the specific restaurant's Swiggy/Zomato listing.
#SwiggyFoodoShop may not have a similar call-to-action, but it aims to create a '2D restaurant experience'. Audhi tells us that restaurants are an important backbone of the Swiggy ecosystem and, most importantly, the Indian economy. But today, one out of every four restaurants faces the risk of closing down permanently.
"During a pandemic in India, even the simplest actions, like ordering food delivery, end up becoming an emotional rollercoaster. Especially if you live with parents, or roommates, who are extremely paranoid. The strategic intent then was to champion our entries and support them in this time of crisis, instead of constant reminders asking people to order," he explains.
Audhi says the main aim of #SwiggyFoodoshop is to simply ask consumers to have fun and push their creative boundaries with the 'green screen' effect in the filter whilst showing their support by recreating their favourite restaurant memories.
Copywriter – Leena Gupta
Cinematographer & Tech - Gerson Pearson
Sr. Creative - Social & Innovations – Rishi Sheth
Sr. Motion Graphics Designer - Niranjan Raghu
Sr. Account Manager - Tasha D'Silva
Art Director - Akhil Bordia
Copy Supervisor - Benedict Raymond Gershom
Group Head (Art) - Devesh Rohmetra
Sr. Group Head (Motion Graphics) - Arnab Gupta
Creative Director – Sanket Audhi
Executive Creative Director – Ashwin Palkar
Senior Account Director – Amol Bariya-Sousa
Associate Vice President – GD Prasad
EVP & National Business Head – Prashant Gopalakrishnan
National Creative Director – PG Aditya
CEO – Gautam Reghunath