Ripples and buzz created by CRED with their star studded ads, seem to have caused a change in the winds for delivery apps on social media as they too take a celebrity heavy approach, amidst all the advocacy for influencer and moment marketing, this form of celebrity endorsements come across as an unanticipated change.
Let’s take a short trip down the memory lane. It is 2018 – Netflix is rapidly gaining popularity in India and their announcement of releasing a new show called Sacred Games featuring Saif Ali Khan has generated massive amounts of intrigue. The Bollywood actor, while having enjoyed an immensely successful stint, in 2018, was going through a series of box office non-successes – Chef, Rangoon, Kaalakaandi, to name a few. Sacred Games officially marked the actor’s comeback to the screen, not only catalyzing his career growth but also a casting trend in OTT space.
Soon we saw actors like Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man – Prime Video India), Arshad Warsi (Asur – Voot India), Anil Kapoor (AK v/s AK – Netflix India), Vivek Oberoi (Inside Edge – Prime Video India), Abhishek Bachchan (Breathe Into The Shadows – Prime Video India) – and a few more are reportedly on the way. Over a year later, we see the trend migrating in the ad world.
While the likes of Big B and SRK have always been an ad industry favourite, we now started seeing a larger spectrum of Bollywood actors becoming the face of brands and mainly new-age brands that cater to the ’90s kids’ if we may say. Be it Spotify’s Anil Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar ads or CRED’s rather viral Rahul Dravid ads – celebrities started occupying a larger share of the marketing content, mix, and spends.
Dunzo & Sunny Deol
To launch Dunzo Daily, the brand partnered with Sunny Deol to leverage his ‘Taareekh Pe Taareekh’ dialogue. The resulting campaign included a video, a reel challenge, social media creatives, and several print media assets. It is a large campaign that evidently saw the infusion of money by Dunzo, a brand that heavily relies on moment marketing in its social media strategy.
As a precursor to the campaign, Deol was seen taking a dig at CRED’s Rahul Dravid campaign which had managed to become the talk of the town.
The hyperlocal delivery app secured funding of USD 40 million in January 2021, which, it reportedly was going to invest in expanding their footprint in the Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai markets.
Swiggy India Birthday Celebrations
To celebrate their birthday, Swiggy India collaborated with celebrities such as Shweta Tripathi Sharma and Ronit Ashra. The campaign resulted in a few reels that were promoting the brand’s milestone along with offering discounts for their patrons. After all, a birthday cannot be celebrated alone, right? Swiggy too is a brand that indulges heavily in moment marketing — this influx of spending being an occasion-specific event.
Zomato & Celebs
Perhaps one of the most controversial campaigns recently, Zomato’s attempt to highlight the work and sacrifices of their delivery partners was one that got them a lot of flak on social media. Featuring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in separate videos, the campaign was said to be glorifying aspects that a lot of netizens have been complaining to be exploitatory. The brand eventually released a statement addressing the issue at hand.
A few days ago, Zomato released their own version of Jalebi Baby, a song by Tesher x Jason Derulo. The original video was edited to include a Zomato delivery partner, who is saving the day by delivering jalebis in time. As a brand, Zomato is known for its red and white text-heavy creatives as a way to participate in moments. They can also be created for creating several moments — celeb-led content though is comparatively newer territory for them.
The big-ticket campaign from Zomato, too, comes on the back of their IPO rollout a couple of weeks ago.
There are several factors that have to be considered in this conversation. For a long time in the last few months, brands did not have the bandwidth to create original content due to pandemic-induced restrictions and general monetary issues. Now, as markets are opening up, it is possible to spend instead of being overly hesitant about it.
It is also important to remember CRED’s success in creating waves with celeb-led content on social media as well as traditional media. They partnered with a number of celebrities to produce content that was talked about a lot. The conversations thus created were moments in their own self — for example, Indiranagar Ka Gunda.
This is an interesting trend that is likely to create more ripples in the days to come.
With inputs from Saloni Surti.