Does Swiggy’s IPL campaign live up to the advertising benchmark it has set for itself?

Continuing its tradition of featuring India’s beloved gulab jamun uncle, Swiggy uses the same plot, barriers and theme this year too

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 9:05 AM

To be sure, food-delivery brand Swiggy has been delivering memorable commercials through the cricket season for the past three years. This year too, the brand is back with three new commercials. Besides the highly anticipated voiceovers from commentator Harsha Bhogle and former cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra, viewers can spot popular Bollywood directors Tigmanshu Dhulia and Hansal Mehta as part of the ads engaging in friendly, neighbourhood rivalry.

The ads have been conceptualised by Lowe Lintas. We ask industry observers whether Swiggy’s latest IPL campaign lives up to the advertising benchmark it has set for itself?

K V Sridhar (Pops), Global chief creative officer, Nihilent & Hypercollective, opined that Swiggy’s latest spot definitely soars high in the best IPL ads this year but falls short of greatness when compared to its classic gulab jamun campaign.

“Often for even the biggest brands, it’s very difficult to live up to a commercial that has gained so much popularity. The latest commercials are short-lived but enjoyable. They have been done with the same personality and tone of voice. However the current ad is more on on-manship. The tactical nature of the commercial is that everyone is ordering as much as they can from Swiggy. The ads manage to deliver the message. Moreover, 90% IPL ads this year have been drab. This one might not be as memorable as the previous campaign but has to be one the better ads of this season that we have seen,” he remarked.

In line with Swiggy’s signature style, the 15-20 second ads follow a simple storyline with minimal dialogues and commentaries that cut straight to the chase. The scene for two of these commercials is set in an apartment complex with neighbours Tigmanshu and Hansal who talk about how crores of people are ordering food through Swiggy.

Brand strategist Ambi M G Parameswaran praises the latest ads. “I liked these ads. It’s a good idea to reinforce that 1 crore people have ordered during lockdown. Nice ads that reinforce trust and get the undecided to download the app and order,” he asserted.

Continuing its tradition of featuring India’s beloved gulab jamun uncle, Swiggy uses the same plot, barriers and the theme. However, the only plot twist here was the angry wife was now happy, which is used as a deep cue into how people are more confident about ordering food online now. The similar treatment of juxtaposing the entire campaign to cricket commentary adds in the little bits of contextual flavours that Swiggy has done each year.

Sanjay Mehta, joint chief executive officer, Mirum India, opined that the punch is lacking in the latest creative work. “IPL advertising is like what Superbowl advertising is in the US. Brands generally try to come out with memorable ads. As like the game, the ads also generate equal extent of conversations. Considering this factor, the ads of Swiggy appear to have been put together in a hurry. The Gulab Jamun man, when he first appeared, had endeared himself to the audience, due to his mannerisms. Also the mention of a lot of people already ordering on Swiggy, comes without any validation in the storyboard. It's like a random statement just put in there,” he pointed out.

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