Honest concerns about content marketing

Saloni Surti
Apr 28, 2016 10:14 IST
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Honest concerns about content marketing
Followed by rib-tickling teasers, All India Bakchod (AIB) released yet another sketch in their ‘Honest’ series - Honest Bars and Restaurants, only, this time it was in association with the rather new food-tech app, Swiggy. An association that we could decode only to certain levels!

AIB started creating a runway for the takeoff of their latest sketch – Honest Bars and Restaurants a few days ago. The creatives were funny decryptions, building up the upcoming video while highlighting AIB and Swiggy’s association.

Analysing Swiggy’s presence

The video commences with a sardonic portrayal of the woes of ordering food at home. The slap-stick humour conveys the issues through volumes of hilarity ultimately leading the situation to the suggestion of using Swiggy.

Further, Swiggy is flashed across the screen multiple times in all the three parts, one of them being the obvious brand integration.

Additionally, the brand name is present in almost all creatives across AIB’s social media pages for this particular Honest sketch.

This could potentially be AIB’s first out and out titular sponsorship (of sorts) wherein they stuck to a single brand in a video created for their channel.

Defining worth

AIB commands enough popularity for most content portals to cover their latest release brining Swiggy into immediate limelight. However, this creates a limited recall, for Honest Bars and Restaurants still takes you to AIB and not Swiggy. Same was the case with TVF Pitchers, wherein, the iconic tagline ‘Tu Beer Hai’ takes you back to Pitchers and not Kingfisher.

This makes Swiggy’s investment a huge question mark. While there is no estimate around the investment made by the brand, a report by Economic Times stated that two years ago key content creators charged INR 5 lakhs for brand integration per video. The cost now is pegged around INR 25 lakhs. Now, since the cost of production continues to stay almost same – premium content creators operate on 500 per cent margins, charging brands basis clout, reach, and quality content.

Also, Swiggy’s treatment in the video could be described as contrasting to how a titular sponsor should be treated.

To begin with after the first mention, Swiggy’s presence in the video appeared rather out of context.


The essence of branded content lies in the fact that it is a part of the story or sometimes not even that as opposed to a hard sell. Swiggy’s current placement gave a Deja Vu of under-thought brand placements in movies which eventually led to the medium’s ill-use.

The video also raises questions around Swiggy’s objective from video marketing. Honest Bars and Restaurants speaks the Gen Y language, portrays hep places and has a tinge of below the belt jokes.


Like major media platforms, TVF and AIB charge for their massive reach and now brand value. However, the result of this association continues to stay ambiguous.

AIB so far has majorly banked on events, performances, and now Vigyapanti for revenue. An ET report dated in November, 2015 states that AIB charges INR 50, 000 plus per event. It earned INR 1.5 Crore from the Royal Turds comic fest.

The content creating group recently ventured in brand sponsorships and associations, thus, making it a rather new revenue stream for them. While we still can’t say if the investment made by CommonFloor or Kingfisher was justified in terms of RoI, it still made sense from a story-telling point of view. Also, it didn’t seem like an out and out Kingfisher or CommonFloor association.

In terms of distribution too, AIB seemed to be pushing Honest Bars and Restaurants more than they would’ve pushed a video published dedicatedly for their channel. All the major influencers were seen lauding the video on Twitter, a move that could be earned or paid to achieve deliverables promised to the brand.

Branded content implies one of the biggest sources of revenues, and opportunity to get creative for creators such as AIB and TVF. To justify results garnered by the video for Swiggy or the way it captured Swiggy in other brands could prove to be a task for AIB.