Zomato goes bullish on its delivery service

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Published : November 05, 2015
After launching the food ordering service in April this year, Zomato beefs up its communication with a new TV campaign.

India is brimming with digital opportunities in almost every business segment. Why then should the food delivery business be left out? As per the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) data, the food delivery market in India registered a growth of 40 per cent, reaching Rs 350 crore in 2014. It accounted for 17 per cent of the overall online services market which stood at Rs 2,025 crore.

Clearly, there is a growing demand that needs to be addressed.

The posterboy of Indian online restaurant space, Zomato, has been a category leader when it comes to restaurant discovery. Cashing in on its popularity and sensing a viable business opportunity, it entered the food delivery space in April this year. Zomato currently claims to back over 12,000 restaurants across 14 cities in India. Meanwhile, its major competitor, Rocket Internet-backed food delivery platform Foodpanda, claims to have 12,000 restaurant partners and is present in over 200 Indian cities as of August 2015. The brand has an annual marketing budget of around Rs 30 crore and has been heavily promoting itself across mass media.

Moreover, other players operating in the space such as the food technology company Faasos, and Swiggy and TinyOwl are offering competition as well.

So, in a bid to claim the online food delivery space, Zomato has rolled out a mass media campaign right before Diwali which urges consumers to order food online and enjoy family time. This seems like a strategic move by the company to take on existing players in the food delivery space such as Foodpanda and Faasos which have spent money on television.

But, unlike its competitors, Zomato has chosen an emotional route to connect with its consumer base through two television campaigns. Executed by Ogilvy and Mather and directed by Shoojit Sircar of Piku and Vicky Donor fame, both campaigns feature Zomato's core TG (the youth), along with their parents.

Pramod Rao

The first campaign features a young daughter (played by Mithila) visiting her father who has been separated and lives alone. In an attempt to offer a treat to her, the father (played by renowned actor Saurabh Shukla) cooks but burns the pasta. What then? Zomato Order, the food ordering platform, arrives to their rescue.

The second campaign, touches upon the universal love of mothers who forever want to feed their children home-cooked food. In this case though, the son (played by Vikrant Massey) chooses to spend quality family time with his mother (played by Shilpa Tulaskar) by ordering food from the Zomato app.

Speaking about the campaign execution, Pramod Rao, SVP, growth, Zomato, says, "If there is one thing that brings people together the way sports does, it's food. We wanted our TV commercial for our online ordering product, to be as real as possible -- something that revolved around what brings us together at homes."

Both campaigns will go on air mid-November.

Message delivered?

Our experts have a divided opinion about the Zomato Order campaigns.

Anish Varghese, group creative director, Isobar, says that while Zomato focusses more on the Ghar jaisa khana angle, it lacks the witty shareability associated with the brand's previous campaigns.

Anish Varghese

Pratik Gupta

"I am not sure whether it'll be received well by the Zomato audience, which is quite evolved and the brand itself is seen as a trend setter in the social media space (refer to their innovative and shareable Facebook posts). There is a huge fan following for its creations. So, the TVC would rather have a trendsetter/out-of the-box approach," he explains.

But, Varghese feels that featuring both the TG (children) and parents will attract older consumers to Zomato as well. The TVC, he feels, clearly conveys how youth can inspire older consumers through 'time saver' app.

Giving a thumbs up to the campaign, Pratik Gupta, founder, Foxymoron, finds the mother-son story more relatable.

"The context is right because we tend to order food from these apps only when we are with friends, rather than with family. Both TVCs are a really good attempt at communication especially during the festive season. Their modern and bold approach (father has been separated and living alone), has taken Zomato in the edgy space," he quips.

Gupta also rues how the other players in this category have resorted to humour in order to send their message across. "In my opinion, humour has become an overtly used category. Beyond a point, consumers remember the message, but there will be no brand recall," he notes.

He echoes Varghese's sentiments stating that the campaign will create an intrigue among older consumers who would want to know more about Zomato.

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