A couple of days ago, we wrote about a marketing campaign we were running on food sites. We were pretty pleased with it, because it checked all the boxes of a successful growth hack – the ads got us lots of eyeballs, millions of clicks, a bump up in online orders, and all at a ridiculously low cost.
The response to the campaign was largely positive. People said we were ballsy for trying this at all, and that we broke new ground for doing this in a country where food has long been a touchy topic. But there were a few things said that we simply couldn’t ignore. Some folks got offended by the campaign, felt the campaign was in poor taste, and it wasn’t something they expected from a brand of our standard. Some also said that all food is not legal, and by advertising on food websites, we are financially supporting abuse – certainly something we don’t want to do. Ever.
Over the past almost eight years now, we’ve worked really hard to build what we’ve built. And while we’ll be the first ones to admit that we aren’t even close to perfect, we can confidently say we’ve always stood for doing what’s good and what’s right. We’ve focused on instilling the right values in our people – values we live by every day – and built our own unique culture along the way. We feel honoured when we’re told that we’ve set an example for young companies in India to go take over the world, by doing what we do and proving the naysayers wrong. In short, we have a lot to live up to.
Like we said earlier, this campaign was almost textbook ‘startup’ marketing. But we’ve probably reached a stage where it’s fair to expect that even if we’re doing what we need to do, we do it in ways that are more ‘grown up’. We understand that we owe it to ourselves, and to those who’ve helped get us to where we are, to set the right examples and convey the right messages. That isn’t to say that we’ll crawl into a shell and stop doing what’s needed. There will be growth hacks and marketing campaigns, and they may or may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But we will also be more mindful of the boundaries we’re playing inside.
For a start, we’re killing the food site campaign, because we sense we crossed the fine line between marketing irreverence and cultural insensitivity. If we did, and ended up offending or disrespecting anyone in any way at all, we are sorry. That obviously wasn’t the intention, and we’ll work on doing things better in the future.