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Food for thought

Like most e-commerce platforms, foodpanda is looking to move consumers to its application with the help of offers and discounts and a brand new television campaign

Ankita Rai 

A report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations and Internet & Mobile Association of India, says India's app economy would be Rs 1,964 crore in 2016. The study says with 100 million app downloads per month despite low penetration of smartphones (which is less than 20 per cent currently), India is among the top five regions for the Android app store, Google Play.

This growth is led by e-commerce players who are shifting focus to the mobile platform to reach out to a set of consumers who reside in the second and third rung cities. New businesses are springing up to cater to a booming hyperlocal segment. Among hyperlocal businesses - that include services such as grocery, laundry, plumbing and electrical services - food delivery seem to be the flavor of the season. The eating out market in India stands at $300 billion, of which $50 billion represents the organised segment. Food that is ordered for in-home consumption accounts for $15 billion.

It is this booming online, app-savvy consumer that restaurant aggregator foodpanda is targeting with its latest campaign, 'Don't call, just install'.

Says Saurabh Kochhar CEO (India), and CBO (Global), foodpanda, "The campaign is about driving a behaviour change towards using the foodpanda app for ordering food. People are used to calling up the nearest outlet to place orders. What is missing is discovery, variety of choices and convenience. Second, ordering on phone is not a very pleasant experience always as we don't know who would pick up the phone on the other side, what the condition of the restaurant is like and whether the person on the other side would understand what you are looking for."

Kochhar says offline servicing is the biggest competitor for players in the online food aggregator space. "Given that how nascent online ordering is in India, we thought we must drive the change by having a targeted communication. We are used to picking up the phone to order. Why not leverage this habit to drive home the point that choosing and ordering could be a better experience that what you have known."


Conceptualised by creative agency Percept India and produced by Housefull Movies, the campaign comprises of two television commercials (TVCs), one launched on June 25 and the other on July 8. Both the TVCs focus on the ease of ordering food, moving away from the brand's earlier tagline 'Your favourite food just a call away'.

Using fun situations, the ads highlights the point that the food ordering process could become nightmarish if done via the offline on phone. Bad connections, wrong addresses, late deliveries and limited options are some problems that customers can avoid while booking through the app.

"The campaign dwells on the pain points of ordering food offline, such as constantly tracking the delivery boy, poor communication, especially during peak hours. We have tried to focus on how technology can offer a seamless experience to consumers," says S Suresh, senior vice-president, Percept.

The ads use the brand mascot, a black and white panda - to exaggerate the situations. The brand has also thrown in some offers and discounts to incentivise people to install the foodpanda app.

This six-week, 360-degree campaign, will use television, radio, digital, outdoor activation and branding. Industry insiders peg the ad spend of the company at Rs 20-25 core.

At present, more than half of the orders on foodpanda are received through mobile applications. According to statistics made available by the company, foodpanda has registered more than a million app downloads and reaches around 10 million customers every month.

The company currently serves 200 cities and 12,000 restaurants.

Kochhar says online ordering is only just picking up in India but more work has to be done to encourage a mindset shift and enable discovery. "Getting partners on board and getting them further up the technical curve so that we can integrate with them much better is another challenge in the space."

While awareness and tech knowhow is high in metros, foodpanda is now logging double-digit growth in Tier-I and Tier-II towns. "There was a slight lag in the early days of mobile internet but now these Tier-II town are picking up," says Kochhar.

At preset 25 per cent of the orders are delivered by foodpanda's delivery fleet, while the rest are handled by partner restaurants themselves.

Brand: foodpanda
Agency: Percept
Budget: Rs 20-25 cr

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First Published: Mon, July 27 2015. 00:08 IST
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