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The death of refrigerator: Did the Dunzo campaign deliver?

While the campaign is getting lauded for its stellar media efforts, the overexaggerated insight of retiring a fridge and replacing it with Dunzo is getting cold reactions from the creative world

by Mansi Sharma
Published - May 26, 2022 8:22 AM  |  6 min read

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On a seemingly normal day in March, several cities witnessed something unexpected: newspaper obituaries paying tribute to the dead ‘Fridgesh Coolkarni’, the beloved refrigerator, a part of almost every home in the country. As they stepped out, the roads were lined with similar creative hoardings. 


What followed were two months of a high-decibel media campaign to promote the launch of ‘Dunzo Daily’ – the fresh service from Bengaluru-based quick commerce company Dunzo delivering everything necessary within 19 minutes. From hoardings to print ads, to TVCs, the brand leveraged every possible touchpoint to get the consumers talking about their quick delivery services – a highly competitive space right now. 

The campaign is getting mixed reactions from the viewers – while some are loving the quirky concept, others are not impressed with the overexaggerated insight of a fridge losing relevancy because of Dunzo and some are even calling it tone-deaf for a few of its video spots, particularly the ‘kabadiwala’ and ‘hospital’ ads. 




e4m asked some of the industry insiders their thoughts on the campaign and if Dunzo could actually replace the fridge. Here’s what they had to say:

Insight not up to snuff; media execution wins

While the campaign is getting lauded for its stellar media efforts, the key and overexaggerated insight of retiring a fridge and replacing it with Dunzo is getting cold reactions from the fans and creative world.

Aastha Beecham, Associate Director, Puretech Digital, says, “The umbrella theme is a bit absurd, as we will never be able to replace refrigerator with Dunzo Daily. Having said that, if we talk about media execution, it’s brilliant. With their pan-India OOH and print campaign, they have created enough chatter already. After that when the videos were released, it was more of a “reveal” to the print teasers.”

Brand-Nomics MD Viren Razdan feels that there is no real insight to the campaign, “Exaggerate to drive a point is an old ad-trick, consumers will take it with a dollop of salt and understand the stretch. The point that Dunzo delivers ‘instantly’ is made. The campaign is focused on its premise of super-fast anything; there is no real insight.”

 Fails in marketing effectiveness

The campaign might not be able to achieve the kind of results they are expecting because the ads falter on marketing effectiveness with not much recall value, industry insiders opine.

Infectious Advertising VP Nitin Sharma feels that the bar has been set so high by brands like Spotify, Cred (Rahul Dravid ad), and closer to the category Zepto (Indian stretchable time) that Dunzo’s work seems like a missed opportunity. “I'm increasingly of the view that all communication must first be entertainment. With our attention spans rivalling that of a goldfish, if something is not entertaining at the get-go, it'll instantly get drowned in the massive ocean of communication clutter that exists today. The Dunzo campaign scores on that. There is the obvious exaggeration of the demise of the ubiquitous refrigerator on account of it being rendered useless because of Dunzo's fast grocery delivery. How that fast delivery is going to keep our beers cool and make ice seems to have been conveniently missed. On the whole, it appears to be a first-level insight, where the execution appears to be doing most of the heavy lifting in trying to make it funny!

DigiChefs Co-Founder Deep Mehta also finds himself unmoved when it comes to marketing effectiveness, as he says, “As an aam aadmi as soon as one looks at the ad, the exaggeration might seem a bit off. After all, there are so many instances daily where one interacts with the fridge, you know how they say, “I was super hungry so I opened the fridge and ate whatever I found!” My thought says that it’s a good attempt but doesn’t accomplish the goals that the brand may have set out.”

Social Panga Co-Founder Gaurav Arora agrees, “I saw a lack of sharp consumer insight & took some time to find a connection between letting go of my refrigerator & Dunzo. In fact, my dad who uses Dunzo on daily basis got even more confused about Dunzo after watching this ad.”

Not really tone-deaf

However, the industry is of the view that the campaigns are not really tone-deaf and the hullabaloo by the audience is out of proportion.

Beecham quips, “I personally do not feel that videos are tone-deaf, but I do understand why these accusations are being made. For the hospital video, someone’s death is a sensitive issue to open a video with and then to end it with a fridge’s demise can be perceived as insensitive by some. On the other hand, the closet and kabadiwala videos will be perceived as silly or funny, and hence are not tone-deaf. I feel this whole controversy is a bit out of proportion. As a creative person with a digital agency, we try to produce quirky ideas to communicate the core messaging of the brand or campaign and (especially these days) it is very hard to think of a concept or script that will not be taken negatively by audiences. In the recent past, there have been a few instances where people have come up with the most negative connotations to beautiful campaigns, and that sometimes just leaves me surprised.”

Albeit, the hollow insight might be responsible for the uproar the campaign is getting from a certain section of the web, as Razdan explains, “Two facets of the campaign - makes the point about the functionality of instant delivery and cuts through the clutter of various such propositions on air currently but fails miserably as a brand. How would you define a brand which has a distasteful selection of situations? Functional cut-through, which hits a home run, is hollow and made a lot of people cringe. Exaggeration has been often used by brands to cut through, but the code of the brand absorbs that - in this scenario, the brand is paying the price.”


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