In-house teams enable faster decision-making & give more control: Tanveer Khan on Dunzo's marketing blueprint

Karuna Sharma
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Dunzo marketing


Dunzo’s Tanveer Khan decodes the secretive - not so anymore, reel strategy followed by the brand. Right from their humble origins from a WhatsApp group to now creating some of the most viral reels - Khan unveils the Dunzo marketing blueprint.

Almost every time you eat mangoes in summer, there's a pimple that follows. Another struggle that summer brings along is multiple power cuts in Tier II and III cities. This and many other pain points that consumers go through every season have been mirrored in quick commerce platform, Dunzo's marketing. Their insight-driven ‘mango’ Reel was one of the most viral content pieces of the season.

The logistics brand tries to find little moments that elicit emotion in consumers, it could be in the range of sadness and irritability to joy and celebration, to simply connect with their consumers on a day-to-day basis. They have managed to go beyond just 'Monday blues' and 'Friday fun.' Dunzo looks for these pain points to really dive into the consumer's mindset.

In their latest campaign, Dunzo is talking about power cuts and helping consumers find a ray of light in the darkness, literally. The platform will be offering discounts to people who are facing power cuts in exchange for user-generated visuals.


"We wanted to do something that's based on Summer. During power cuts, there's a lot of frustration and anxiety due to uncertainty. The campaign we came up with has a funny insight, it has to do with nostalgia when we were growing up. Our insight was to understand how to incentivise our consumers and become the source of happiness?" shares Tanveer Khan in an interview with Social Samosa.

Called "Light Gai Kya?", the campaign will roughly last for two weeks and could be extended subject to consumer reception.

The Origins

Launched in 2015, Dunzo first started as a WhatsApp group. CEO Kabeer Biswas would take orders and deliver them to people himself. The group grew steadily to add 10,000 people and Dunzo’s first marketing medium was word-of-mouth. 

Slowly and steadily, Dunzo started developing its brand image on social media platforms. Through topical posts and quick turnaround time, Dunzo was able to lock horns with its established competitors and gain loyal consumers. 

Their first large-scale campaign was launched in 2021 August, where Khan says the insight was that consumers don't want to buy groceries themselves and it is always passed on to the family's youngest member. The campaign was called ‘Grocery ka Drama Chhodo,’ it spoke about various challenges faced by consumers related to their groceries and featured their mascots. 

Dunzo Marketing Blueprint 

Looking back at IPL 2022 and sharing what elements make up a Dunzo campaign on a larger level, Khan says, “The QR code campaign was again based on insight and nostalgia. As a brand, we always believe in delivering content that is based on some insight. What I mean by that is - it should be relatable and relevant to you and the statement should be shareable to our audience. If you could add a wheel of nostalgia to it, nothing like it.”  


This nostalgia element is also evident in Dunzo’s print strategy. They try to take you back to your childhood days by sharing Snakes and Ladders and other memories from those golden days, which Khan says makes it organically likeable and shareable.

This strategy is also extended to their social media platforms. 

“We are on a path to profitability, where every dollar that we are spending has to be very thoughtful, strategically defined and draw some ROI. That’s why the marketing channel that we choose is very specific to the ROI we are looking at generating."

Tanveer Khan


The brand reached its desired level of awareness a while ago. Now, it is relying on ROI-driven channels such as performance marketing, social media marketing, in-app communication and emailers. In the coming six months, as Dunzo focuses on profitability, they would be using these marketing channels to generate ROI. 

Ingredients behind Dunzo’s Social Media Marketing

  • Instagram – 107K
  • Facebook – 154K
  • LinkedIn – 321K
  • Twitter – 23.9K
  • Youtube – 30.3K

Weaving this nostalgia and relatability factor further into social media marketing, Dunzo uses their mascot army and moment marketing to connect with consumers. But out of at least 10-15 topics that are discussed on social media platforms in our country every day, not every moment makes it to their platforms. 

Social Samosa

About how content pegs are chosen, Khan shares, “One is smart content that takes a bit for users to understand. For example, our recent same-sex marriage post. Then there is a post on celebrating Dhoni, which is slightly massy. We try to find the right balance between niche and massy. Lastly, it is based on our gut feeling. There’s nothing that can help us speculate the virality attached to it”  

Dunzo goes through all social media conversations, looks at their timing, sees what is drawing most engagement and compares if it is relevant for their target audience. 

As per SimilarWeb, their target audience is largely in the age group of 25-34. 


Reviving the Art of Mascots

The ‘Duniverse’ of mascots comprise an eclectic mix of characters who bring their own traits and quirks. The brand has six Indian mascots (two partners, two merchants and two customers) of varied demographics, gender identities, and religious ideologies.


They came at a time when the marketing world was pondering whether mascots have retired and have become a dying art. Young brand Dunzo proved these apprehensions wrong and their mascots have become their brand identity in a short span of time. They are featured in reels dancing, riding around the pot-ridden roads of India on their app, passing hilarious comments on billboards, and jumping on trends across social media platforms. 

“Mascots do work today in some industries. For example, if you take any FinTech, it is a trust-deficit market and people like to have faces that are associated with the brand. If you use a mascot there, it takes away the seriousness of it. You have to define and understand what business you are into and whether creating a mascot will help you get that awareness you are seeking for your brand,” advises Khan. 

Mascots have also helped Dunzo create a strong association and brand love among consumers. For mascots to work, Khan said that they should be given space to develop and marketers should be patient to use them strategically in the long run. 

Also read: Dunzo Reels Strategy: Delivering trendy content and essential entertainment

For Dunzo, humour is the all-encompassing element or rather the backbone of the brand’s Reels, it is woven into every concept and every piece of content. 

“On Instagram, one format reaches its exhausting level very soon; doesn’t have longevity. It is short span because consumer’s attention span is also falling. Reels give you higher reach and impression than static. We are using motion graphics in 2D as seen in 'pimples and mango' post, 3D mascot content and third is live-action content. We don’t rely on one vertical of creativity and we mix these verticals with strong insights. Users shouldn’t feel that there’s stale content,” spills Khan. 

Apart from that, Dunzo reels also have consistency in terms of colour palette and common traits seen in mascots.

The Idea Behind Keeping Things In-House...

Whether it is Dunzo’s timely notifications or trendy reels, the brand does it all in-house. What could be considered a money-saving strategy, is really meant to expedite the turn-around process and not miss any windows of opportunity in this ever-changing marketing landscape.

On why the brand has not chosen to go with an ad agency, Khan says, “In-house gives you the liberty to do anything, decision-making is faster and you have more control.”

This is how they stay on top of moment marketing. Whether this approach saves more marketing dollars, Khan admitted that it costs almost the same and the reason behind going in-house is to save time. 

The IPL Chapter

In 2022, Dunzo became an Indian Premier League (IPL) sponsor for the first time and went live with their national-level campaign. With a quirky campaign "Ab fridge ka kya kaam," Dunzo paid tribute to the ‘late fridge.’ 

As IPL teams competed on the ground for the golden cup in 2021, the conversation in the quick commerce space was also getting heated and a wave of ads followed. Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit, BigBasket Now, and Zepto started talking about delivery minutes in their ads.

Dunzo’s campaign narrative was first anchored in humour and then came the offer of ‘19 mins’ delivery as opposed to the 10 or 20 minutes deliveries promised by its competitors. 

Then came the infamous ‘QR code’ campaign.

“We grew exponentially in those two months and overachieved our targets. So the focus was to get our existing users to come and transact with us—increasing top of the funnel. Because we participated in IPL last year and spent a huge amount of money, this time, we wanted to be smart about building our content. We identified important touchpoints, which are social media, second is in-app assets and third is digital if you are not using TV as a channel,” shares Khan with Social Samosa.

In IPL 2023, however, the category’s marketing strategy shifted. A report by Redseer Strategy Consultants said that prominent Online Food Delivery Platforms (OFD), in continued stride towards profitability, adopted a different marketing approach during IPL-2023, opting for muted campaigns.

Dunzo used its in-app splash screens, which are its most viewed assets and generate a million of views in a week, and hyper-personalised them as per different cities. 

The second touchpoint was their track orders secreen. Dunzo changed its visuals from roads to the stadium. The mascot was seen crossing the stadium as people cheered for them. As the mascot rang the doorbell, the consumer was seen watching IPL. 

To further connect with in-app users, Dunzo brought in IPL superstitions.

In the future, Dunzo will continue to work on strengthening its retention rate and will focus on social media content and performance marketing. The brand will stay away from larger marketing campaigns for a few months and focus on serving its current consumers while being mindful of the money they spend on marketing. 

Dunzo marketing ipl marketing Tanveer Khan tanveer khan dunzo mascot marketing dunzo reels dunzo mascots dunzo marketing head IPL 2023