Swiggy | Ad campaign | What the falooda

With its trademark quirk, Swiggy’s new campaign attempts to sensitise ‘hangry’ customers

Imagine your pastry squished to a gooey mess or paranthas gone stale? Or worse, returning home from a hectic day at the office, starving, and your order is delayed by 45 minutes? In such instances, it is natural to feel annoyed and our first choice is to pick up the phone and fire the customer service executive. So much so that ‘hangry’ – anger laden hunger – has become a regular part of millennial lingo.

However, food-tech giant Swiggy wants you to take a pause and reflect. After all, while the anger is justified, venting abuses at a customer care executive isn’t. To communicate this point effectively and sensitise customers against usage of abusive language while interacting with customer care, Swiggy has released a new campaign called What The Falooda. The company has also created a new extension on their customer chat which converts expletives into food names.

Srivats TS, vice president, marketing at Swiggy, says when users interact with customer care executives, some of them might unknowingly hurt the emotions of these executives who work round-the-clock to sort out grievances and ensure a hassle-free experience. “We tend to forget that they are human too, and profane language can hurt them deeply. Through this campaign, we are hopeful that many such users will relate to it and become more conscious of their choice of words,” he says.

In the two-minute long film, the food ordering and delivery platform creates various instances where people enter into arguments, but instead of expletives, they say names of food items. For instance, when two bikers collide, they pun on words like ‘bhen…di masala’ and ‘maaa…matar pulao’. Similarly, when a man tries to jump the queue, he is called ‘gaa…jar ke halwe’. Finally, the film shows a man unboxing his order and exclaiming that the raita hasn’t been delivered. He then asks his son to complain, who promptly resorts to an abusive language. At this point, a voice over kicks in, saying “Mooh me khana acha lagta hai, gaaliyan nahi” (a mouth should be full with food, not expletives). The punch line is followed by the delivery executive coming back to the man’s house, apologising for forgetting to deliver the raita.

The fine balance of humour and seriousness helps in driving home the point better. “The bizarre works in advertising as it helps grab eyeballs. In a nation that grows up with the hidden use of the expletives, when a brand grabs it by its horns, it works. And the Swiggy effort, therefore, works,” says Harish Bijoor, brand-strategy specialist and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults. So the next time your order doesn’t meet your expectation, don’t forget to say What the F…alooda!