Short List
CategoryG04. Social Behaviour
Idea Creation DENTSU WEBCHUTNEY Bengaluru, INDIA


Name Company Position
P.G. Aditya Dentsu Creative Head of Creative
GD Prasad Dentsu Creative Business Lead on Swiggy + Audio Innovation Lead
Prashant Gopalakrishnan Dentsu Creative Head of Business
Ashwin Palkar Dentsu Creative Creative Art Director
Gurbaksh Singh Dentsu Creative Audio Innovation Lead
Pooja Manek Dentsu Creative Creative Lead on the Project
Aarushi Periwal Dentsu Creative Creative - Copy
Kavya Benny Dentsu Creative Creative - Copy
Ann Mary Tom Dentsu Creative Creative - Copy
Amey Chodankar Dentsu Creative Creative - Art
Srishti Agarwal Dentsu Creative Creative - Art
Shreya Arora Dentsu Creative Creative - Art
Amol Bariya Sousa Dentsu Creative Account Management Lead on Swiggy
Tasha DSilva Dentsu Creative Account Manager on Swiggy
Ishtaarth Dalmiya Dentsu Creative Strategist
Sachin Poojary Dentsu Creative Supervisor - Motion Graphics
Manish Joseph Dentsu Creative AGH - Motion Graphics
Niranjan Raghu Dentsu Creative Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
Sanket Audhi Dentsu Creative Creative Director - Social Leg
Geetika Sood Dentsu Creative Creative Producer
Paridhi Yadav Dentsu Creative Typography Designer
Aditi Gujaran Dentsu Creative Typography Designer
Ananya Rao Dentsu Creative Corporate Strategy Lead
James S Dentsu Creative Corporate Promotions Lead

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

Gender chore gap in Indian households is evident. Instead of another story about why equality mattered, Instamart gave couples a new tool to experience a feminist kitchen: feminist recipes. With three different executions, Instamart gave couples an actionable way to achieve kitchen equality—a cookbook that splits in half, a Spotify recipe podcast for couples, and timecodes to split YouTube recipes. ‘TheBetterHalfCookbook’, a physical cookbook with original recipes, split into two & doubled up as a product catalogue and trial-generator, delivered to their doorstep. ‘The Better Half Podcast’ featured real-time audio instructions for recipes - split-in half, for each earpod.


Indian grocery brands’ competitive moat is distribution. Unfortunately, the internet & the lockdown disrupted distribution, giving the competition a chance to redefine category codes. The largest players — even the most direct competition – advertises to ‘the woman of the house’. And why wouldn’t they? All facts are in favour of speaking to women in India, where they spend 577% more time than men on household chores, and do 88% of the cooking. (OECD) But facts also were that the lockdown forced men to enter kitchen, and for men to help out with chores, reducing the gender-chore gap in modern Indian homes by an hour (Times of India). This fundamental behaviour shift was an opportunity for India’s largest food delivery app, Swiggy, to add lightning fast grocery delivery. A new vertical, Swiggy Instamart’s success would rest squarely on piloting a new narrative to raise awareness & ultimately, gain market share.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

The Better Half Recipes: The first-ever feminist recipes. Instead of another story about why equality mattered, Instamart gave couples a new tool to experience a feminist kitchen: feminist recipes. With the belief that feminist recipes are simply equal recipes, we challenged the 1600-year-old assumption that recipes are written for one person to do all the cooking. By splitting instructions equally where recipes are sought, The Better Half Recipes takes the onus of teaching your partner to share cooking time, without kitchen mishaps, without wrong ingredients, without second-guesses… so women didn’t have to. Pick any Better-Half Recipe. Divide the effort. Unite in the kitchen. And save time like never before. The kitchen became a counterintuitive starting point for a new narrative in grocery delivery, with a vestige of Indian kitchens: recipes, cooking videos, and cookbooks themselves. Ultimately, we piloted a superfast grocery service by piloting a superfast way to cook altogether.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

In pilot, Instamart was available for Swiggy users in Bengaluru & Gurgaon. Aside from service guarantees, the pilot would succeed if it could redefine category expectations (of men grocery shopping). How we’d go about it: not linear, considering following codes would risk Swiggy’s ungendered ToV & healthy gender-balance. To remain ungendered, we were inspired by the Politics of Housework from 1970. We asked, “was it normal for men to ignore groceries, because it was normal to be clueless about kitchen needs… because it was normal to not cook?” Butterfly Effects emerged: men don’t do chores or purchase groceries until they’re personally inconvenienced, and that the onus to ‘help men help women,’ is still on the woman. When lockdown data reflected men helping out, out of inconvenience, we had more than low prices to give. We repositioned grocery as a fun unisex chore, starting with cooking in the kitchen.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Three ways to make kitchens equal: The Better Half Recipes hit the internet by hijacking YouTube comments of 70 of India’s most watched chefs. Turning over 160 trending recipes feminist, by leaving comments (with timestamps) to split recipes equally, available in a ‘The Better Half Playlist’. Just like searching for recipe variations, partners could now search for better half versions to split the effort. For couples who prefer ‘listening,’ the first-ever ‘earpod innovation’ on Spotify. ‘The Better Half Podcast’ featured real-time audio instructions for recipes- split in half, for each earpod. Pick a dish. Pick a earpod each. Cook together. For potential customers in Bangalore & Gurgaon, the exclusive ‘The Better Half Cookbook’, a physical cookbook with original recipes, split into two & doubled up as a product catalogue and trial-generator. We created the world’s biggest menu of feminist recipes to be read, watched, and listened to. With zero spends.

List the results (30% of vote)

News about Instamart’s Better Half Recipes reached a 100 million people & expanded to 6 countries - including the USA, Canada, Australia, Thailand and New Zealand… increasing brand queries by 51%, app engagement by 14% and garnering $1.8 million in earned media. By launching a campaign idea outside serviceable areas, Instamart garnered disproportional FOMO within Gurgaon and Bangalore, selling-out ‘The Better Half Cookbook’ in 4 days & increasing trials by 13%. What began as a product-pilot for two cities, ended up as a successful brand-pilot for multiple potential markets. By betting on a progressive narrative, online grocery’s smallest brand beat the social status-quo and the competition, outpacing category growth in Q1 2020. But the internet is a large place. And there are millions of recipes yet to embrace feminism. As Swiggy’s most successful pilot yet, Instamart’s job to make grocery a unisex chore has only just begun.

Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work

Cookbooks have been around since 4th Century AD. And for over 1600 years, they’ve been written assuming it’s only one person who does the cooking. In the Indian context, this one person is more often than not, a woman. There is an evident gender chore gap that exists in Indian households. To strike equality in the kitchen, Instamart rethought the way cooking as a chore has been looked at—a one-person job. A cookbook that highlights the requirement of two people from the get-go to cook a meal obliterates this bias, lending a fresh approach to an archaic system.


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