If you’ve been on the internet in the past week, the chances are the words “Nahi Milega” have been ringing in your head. Thanks to Sharma ji (@sharmaji.237) aka Uncle Ji, who has been showing up across our social media feeds and pretty much all over our everyday digital existence- the memes, the reels, the gifs, the stickers, and our emotional damage.
Turns out, this old man is the face of Zepto’s new brand campaign highlighting the brand’s promise with the message that while not all things in life are attainable, unlimited free deliveries on Zepto are.
10-min grocery delivery service Zepto took an edgy route when they roped in an uncle from Delhi to build the trending character of Uncle ji weeks before landing their brand campaign. What were they thinking? Not much. Just shatter some (lots of!) hopes on social media with uncle’s sassy personality, blatant realities, and the catchphrase Nahi milega. How did it fair? Right from some of the most popular meme and reel pages hyping uncle to many influencers and audiences creating their own versions that were max relatable, Uncle Ji became India’s favorite reality check. The character garnered solid organic traction with 10 Million impressions with 10% engagement across all social media platforms; trending at #6 on Twitter, and shared by popular Twitter celebs (CricCrazyJohns, dudeitsokay, shreemiverma) and Instagram Meme pages (Trolls Official, Emo Bois of India, Log Kya Sochenge, Ghantaa, Adult Society).
Saksham Jadon and Parul Agarwal from Youngun said, “Since life isn’t perfect, we are all well versed with the emotion of ‘Nahi Milega’ and the crushing feeling it leaves behind, whether we are 5 or 50 years old. In this campaign we decided to convert this hard-hitting feeling into a brand theme “___ mile na mile, Zepto pe free delivery pakka milega”. To establish it, we needed someone who has experienced all ups and downs of life (i.e an old Uncle Ji) and position him as an internet guru dropping truth bombs about life with a ‘Nahi Milega’ twist as a build up to the brand films”.
Cut to a week after Uncle Ji becomes the vibe-setter of social media conversations, Zepto lands its first brand film today. Set in a quintessential bus commute scenario, the brand film opens to the visuals of a crammed bus, people latched on to handles in lethargy, standing uncomfortably close and resting heads over sweaty patches. As two friends are seen discussing their hopes of finding a seat today on account of leaving early from work, the internet’s new favorite Uncle Ji pops out from between them to crash those very hopes with “Nahi Milega”. Cut to Zepto owning the narrative with “Bus mein seat mile ya na mile, Zepto pe unlimited free delivery pakka milega”. The brand is set to launch two more films in the same essence lined up for the next few days.
Boman Irani, too, boarded the bus, taking the first film live on his Twitter.
Anant Rastogi, Associate Director – Brand Marketing at Zepto, said, “Creating this campaign has been an exciting experience for all of us at Zepto. We wanted to bring to life our ethos of making things possible – like unlimited free deliveries – for all our customers. With Uncle Ji’s internet-first personality, we were able to strike a chord with our young audience and drive home the brand message. We are certain Uncle Ji will win hearts, and mostly break some, too.”
On bringing the internet vibe to digital films, Sapna Singh, Director, EarlyMan Film, added, “It was as unexpected as it was interesting to integrate a regular seeming Uncle Ji into the films as a strong recurrent character in various whacky forms. Going further with his appearance and demeanour while keeping his trademark simplicity helped add the quirk these films needed conceptually.”
In addition to social assets and brand films, the campaign will grab eyeballs on outdoor media across all major cities of presence and Zepto’s app, with a special grocery recommendation list by the Uncle himself.