In the past we used IPL for category creation for food & this time it’s for Instamart: Ashish Lingamneni, Swiggy

Ashish Lingamneni Swiggy

Ashish Lingamneni, Head of Brand at Swiggy speaks to Social Samosa about the brand’s IPL marketing strategy. In the past Swiggy has seen success with IPL; post their Gulab Jammun campaign the brand saw a 30% jump in the searches for the sweet on the platform.

Swiggy has been an IPL constant in the last few years. According to the brand, post the infamous Swiggy Gulab Jammun campaign, a 30% jump in the searches for the sweet on the platform was witnessed. This year, Swiggy takes it a notch ahead, with an official partnership with BCCI and an extensive campaign for Instamart, the background of which we catch up with Ashish Lingamneni, Head of Brand at Swiggy.  

Lingamneni Social Samosa that “There is no definition for a perfect ad.” He opines that the idea should be to keep the ad simple but fun and relatable. “Ultimately the core message should drive value for the brand.” 

Here’s more on what he had to say about Swiggy’s association with IPL as a marketing vehicle – how they’re using it to drive market penetration for Instamart in the quickly cluttering Quick Commerce segment, their regional marketing approach, and more.  

Swiggy has had a long association with IPL & has created some of its most successful campaigns (Gulab Jamun uncle!) during this phase. Since the beginning, what has been your marketing objective or KPI from IPL & how much has it managed to deliver? 

IPL is one of the most celebrated sporting events in the country and provides an excellent platform to boost Swiggy’s product offerings and brand love. If we look at the last few years, Swiggy has always engaged with the cricketing event as a tool to launch innovative marketing initiatives.

So, for every IPL edition, we have a distinct objective. We understand that it is going to be a large-scale event and it is a case where food, snacking, entertainment, and cricket go hand in hand. We use IPL to drive the objective that is most important to us. 

In the past we have used it very effectively for category creation for food and this time, as Swiggy has a great offering in the form of Instamart, we’re doing the same for quick commerce. 

In this edition, we’ve launched a single thematic campaign across food and grocery for the very first time. With the #AapKisekeSaath Dekhoge campaign, Swiggy intends to creatively engage with their existing customers while also tapping newer ones serving viewers everything from match time munchies to their favourite dishes with convenience.

Fun Fact: In 2018, a week into the Gulab jamun ad, we witnessed a 30% jump in the searches for the sweet on the platform. During that period we had thousands of app downloads in tier 2&3 cities we weren’t even present in back then.

The association brings with it the IPL fandom and aims to elevate the match viewing experience of millions of viewers. It will additionally help us drive clutter-breaking campaigns, varied consumer engagement, and business offerings at scale

Please take us through your IPL campaign this year? What specific insights/services/ideas are you trying to bring out this year? 

The insight was that Swiggy is the perfect accompaniment to cricket with food from all your favourite restaurants and instant grocery delivery of match-day essentials – thus elevating every IPL fan’s match viewing experience. 

 “Aap Kiske Saath Dekhoge?”, brings both food delivery and Instamart services under a single thematic campaign for the first time. We seek to use the massive reach of IPL to showcase the unique differentiators of Swiggy such as unparalleled convenience, quick delivery of snacks and beverages through our grocery service Instamart and exciting offers like Match Day Mania and Swiggy Fast 5 that will elevate their IPL match viewing experience

With a simple storyline, relatable characters and stories, with minimal dialogues that cut straight to the chase, the ads drive home the message that Swiggy, through Instamart & food delivery will make the match-viewing ritual for fans who are watching with family, friends or just by themselves more enjoyable. The ads bring alive the convenience users turn to Swiggy for, while also underlining the brand’s benefits in a likable and engaging manner.

How are you compensating your extensive advertising campaign with the on-ground services? Have you increased delivery vendors or strengthened any other form of services to meet the increase in demand during this phase? 

Yes, we have worked with our restaurant partners, delivery fleet and other brands to make Swiggy Match Day Mania and Instamart Fast 5 the most memorable and exciting for viewers.

Swiggy Match Day Mania is a 65-day long campaign that celebrates the nation’s love for cricket with the best food and offers from every viewer’s favourite restaurants. Similarly, we have worked on offers on IM with the Swiggy Instamart Match Corner. Swiggy has curated four exclusive matchday snack boxes for users to pick from, covering anything and everything that users might need to elevate their IPL viewing experience.

Also Read: Case Study: How Swiggy Desi Masala campaign ‘s CTA reached 13M+ users

How do you calculate RoI or success of your other KPIs from IPL marketing? Please take us through your measurement metrics

At Swiggy, we define the success of our marketing campaigns not just by business growth but also through brand and consumer love. Over the years, more users have started making Swiggy and even Instamart a part of their daily lives, like millions of people before them.

The parameters that we usually use to judge the success of the campaign would include the growth in category penetration, i.e new user acquisition, increase in repeat user traffic and increase in top-of-mind recall from brand metrics. 

Any tips for brands investing in IPL advertising/marketing to make sure they’re making the most of the entry cost. What does Swiggy do to make sure they recover the cost & optimize the investment to the maximum level? 

The IPL season presents a unique opportunity to maximize the contextuality and reach of Swiggy’s campaign, with users tuning in everyday to catch the cricket action on television as well as OTT. 

Unlike a lot of other brands for whom IPL is a great media vehicle, we believe that Swiggy is a brand that can generate a transaction or provide instant gratification to the customers along with a great ordering experience right when they are viewing our ads.

We look at multimedia and integrated marketing communication approach and make sure that we optimise each medium. 

How do the Bharat consumers fit in the scheme of things at Swiggy? Do you have any catered marketing plans for them?  

India is a cricket-crazy nation and the game is enjoyed by all irrespective of societal and geographic boundaries. IPL cricketing season offers us an opportunity to appeal to a wider demographic who are connected by a common love for entertainment, and food and having both of these delivered to them in the most convenient, seamless manner.

Our IPL-themed advertisements are always simple with minimal dialogues but fun and intriguing to watch as they explore relatable/ slice-of-life scenarios. The ads are also multilingual and available in regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi. 

So, while our core consumption audience lies in the Metros, 18-35 age groups, we’ve seen massive growth in consumers outside of that TG and in tier II and tier III cities as well. 

One area we have always focused on starting with Gulab Jamun uncle to our current campaign stories is to show a diverse range of users – from golden oldies to young teens – to appeal to a diverse audience segment. As mentioned, it was very clear when we got thousands of downloads in tier II and III cities back in 2018, when Swiggy wasn’t even present in those cities. 

Please take us through your creative process – Swiggy has some of the most compelling narratives, not only during the IPL but overall as well. What usually goes in your creative brief? 

Every ad campaign at Swiggy is led by an objective. The creative brief consists of making it simple but engaging and fun. The aim is to drive visibility for Swiggy and reach out to potential new users who may not have used the platform before and bring out our brand benefits in an engaging manner. In what has become Swiggy’s signature style, the ads are shot in an entertaining and tongue-in-cheek manner, the ads are inspired by everyday situations with simple storylines and minimum dialogues. 

IPL is unique, especially in the subset of cricket, because it continues for 50-60 days. This gives Swiggy the opportunity to have a continuous conversation with the customer. It can be top of mind (for customers) and there can be multiple messaging in a single campaign, which is otherwise very difficult. It can be a promotional leg, engagement leg, companies can launch a sub-brand or a feature. All that gets enabled by the 60-day window.

Big budget, quirky, campaigns are the new trend undertaken by new-age brands. A number of brands in the FinTech, FoodTech & OTT space boast of an active social media presence as well – do you think that somewhere these campaigns (while amazing) are limited to the industry and a very small set of audience? Are these campaigns translating into any form of business value? 

It is definitely good to see brands challenge the standard brand-building playbook in order to get attention in an increasingly cluttered world where consumers are often not available on the standard media platforms. 

This strategy of course needs to talk back to the journey and marketing task at hand, and that can evolve over time for every brand. What worked so far can stop working and that’s when brands need to re-invent their playbooks, us included.

One trend that is important for Marketers 

One of the big trends that has been playing out over the past few years has been the rise of short-form content and the increasing time spent on this format. 

It is quite critical for Marketers to tailor their play-books across data-driven marketing to influencer strategies to be able to have an impact in this space