On today’s Bullseye – it’s time to get Swiggy! Back on December 20, 1965 Chuck Barris (also a Drexel Grad, by the way) changed the way we looked at dating and relationships in a whole new way. Forget about relying on your mom or friend on fixing you up, or heading to a bar to ‘try your luck’ to meet that special one. Barris brought dating to TV. The matchmaking was secretive – a guy or girl was on one side of a wall and on the other side were 3 hopefuls of the opposite sex who were asked questions and the ‘winner’ would be selected based on their answers. It was also a show that agents pushed their rising stars to appear on. Farah Fawcett, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Selleck, Sally Filed, John Ritter, Lindsey Wagner and dozens more appeared alongside regular folks who wanted their shot at love – and TV stardom. Over the course of the series there were 2,000 dates and 20 couples actually went on to marry.
Then came the deluge of dating apps – eHarmony, Tinder, Thursday, Match, Bumble, Hinge, OKCupid, Happn and probably hundreds more that tie people together through a series of photos, bios, likes and dislikes and of course algorithms to make it all easy. Then we went back to TV, where reality shows like the Bachelor, Singletown, Catfish, Love Island and others sensationalized the dating process and looked for nothing more than the ultimate insult, soundbite or cheat. But no one really connected love and food until in August of 2019 we reported on The Lempert Report about a new trend – foodie calls. A trend, that hopefully has totally disappeared, where a person schedules a date with someone they aren’t really interested in just to get a free meal. Not quite matchmaking heaven.
But now we have Swiggy’s Plate Date. its very similar to the dating game but the questions are all based on the contestants prior food purchases on the Swiggy food app. Before you reach for your phone to download it you need to know Swiggy and Plate Date is only in India – it is on YouTube so you can watch, laugh and cry – but you just can’t participate – yet. Swiggy’s head of brand marketing says that Swiggy and the show is rooted in an insight that food connects people. We know that. But think of the brilliance in marketing to bring it one step further. The show is highlighting foods of course, but also names the restaurant where the contestant purchased it from. Smart. Swiggy also designed the show to appeal to Gen Z and millennials. Smarter. This marketing also separates – and elevates – Swiggy from their competitors – Uber Eats, Zomato, Food Panda, Deliveroo and dozens more buy humanizing the whole idea of food delivery. Building it away from speed and price and making it about our relationships with foods – and what they can lead to. Having common tastes on burgers joints or the type of pizza toppings or if someone is choosing healthy or indulgent foods. What we know, especially about Gen Z and Millennials is that they love food – and according to many the social distancing and stay at home orders that we have experienced over the past few years has created the feeling of being alone more than ever and as we witnessed as the regulations were lifted a surge in people wanting to be with others – which created a groundswell at many bars and restaurants that sat empty for many months. This is really smart marketing and positioning and hats off to Swiggy. Will Plate Date be a global success and take over the franchise of the Housewives from ‘wherever”? I doubt it – but if Chuck Barris was still alive, it’s an idea he would probably try.