Inside the Zomato and Universal Music Group recipe for “Jalebi Baby”


Image: Tester


In a gentle marketing maneuver, Zomato teamed up with singer-producer Tesher to bring the brand into ‘Jalebi Baby,’ a remix of the Canadian-Indian rapper’s song from 2020 that became a TikTok chartbuster. Remixed with American singer Jason Derulo, Jalebi Baby’s digital release in July 2021 coincided with Zomato’s successful IPO, prompting many part-time Internet sleuths to question whether this was all part of ‘a great marketing plan. This theory has been debunked.

The timing for the clip was “absolutely unintentional” and “coincidental,” says Chandan Mendiratta, who heads brand marketing at Zomato. In short, Mendiratta considered handling it through the legal department when he first saw the comments pouring in on social media. But “because it was purely a marketing activity and had nothing to do with the public offering …” it was all jalebi, baby.

Zomato and UMG For Brands, the creative agency within the global music juggernaut Universal Music Group, have been engaged for some time in exploring how the brand can become part of popular culture through music. “When the opportunity came in the form of Jalebi Baby, it became our fastest deal! Preeti Nayyar, vice president – new business and brand partnerships, India and South Asia, Universal Music Group, tells Storyboard. The clip gave Zomato the opportunity to fit the brand into an internet sensation that has transcended the mainstream.

Tesher and Derulo sing, bhangra, and make jalebis to woo a woman in the family clip. Tesher’s plan almost fails when he drops the plate of jalebis he concocted. Call a Zomato delivery partner, carrying a box of jalebis, to the rescue.

By July 2021, Jalebi Baby had amassed over 200 million streams worldwide. Zomato’s cameo-starring MV had over 20 million views in one week on YouTube.

Easy recipe for success
Now, when he looks back, Mendiratta says the partnership was a ‘no brainer’ given the success of the original song by Tesher, world star Derulo in the mix, and the jalebi, which he says is a food universally. appreciated and much appreciated. nostalgia. “For me, personally, jalebi takes me back to my childhood. It brings back memories of me riding behind my dad on his scooter, going to get jalebis for breakfast every Sunday. I had a personal bias, “he admits,” We thought with UMG and closed the deal in one day. ”

“Today, as far as the clip goes, audiences are talking about Tesher’s sherwani, Jason Derulo’s bhangra, and Zomato’s jalebis. The goal is to get people to talk about the brand, ”he says. “The jalebi song is not about us, but we are part of the story.”

The recently listed food delivery giant carefully cultivates its brand personality using levers like music. “We have a musical sensibility,” says Mendiratta, sharing examples of the signature song they created in collaboration with composer Anirudh Ravichander for Tamil audiences, titled “Summa Semma Zomato” and its food and entertainment festival, Zomaland.

Food for thought
Zomato isn’t the only brand to make an appearance in ‘Jalebi Baby’. Before the music starts, we see Tesher on a Lyft bike. “Both brands are very well positioned,” says Harshil Karia, founder of Schbang, a Mumbai-based marketing solutions company. But, he says, “as a brand, Zomato has carried on into pop culture in much better ways thanks to its social media jokes and engaging content and advertising.” Karia adds: “Given her stature, music videos should use Zomato organically.”

Storyboard is Network18’s flagship platform focused on the advertising and marketing community and a major source of information and analysis on brand activities.


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