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OgilvyOne's campaign for Dishoom serves up a slice of vintage Bombay on a plate

20 March, 2013

OgilvyOne Worldwide

LONDON — OgilvyOne UK has created a campaign for Dishoom, a newly-opened restaurant in East London inspired by the old Irani Cafés of Bombay. The campaign aims to bring their rich cultural tradition to London and attract the local Shoreditch community to dine there.

Dishoom pays loving homage to the Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Opened early last century by Persian immigrants, there were almost four hundred of these cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now fewer than thirty remain.

These cafés were frequented by people from all walks of life: rich businessmen, courting couples, poor students and sweaty taxi-wallahs. They were perhaps the only places in the city where people from any caste or class would have an inexpensive snack or a hearty meal, or just seek cool refuge from the street with a glass of chai. However, as the city rushes towards modernity, these beautiful old cafés continue to disappear, mourned by Bombayites as they fade into memory.

OgilvyOne’s creative idea was anchored in the idea of sharing. In the old Bombay cafés, food and stories were shared around the table. OgilvyOne painstakingly harvested the stories from the older generation in Bombay and the UK, from spoken recounts and by scouring the Internet. Of these, 80 stories were chosen, then beautifully designed and baked onto plates to be used in the restaurant itself.

Emma DeLaFosse, Executive Creative Director, OgilvyOne UK commented: “We wanted to capture the spoken history of the old Bombay cafes and share them with a new generation at Dishoom. Rather than using Twitter or Facebook, it seemed more fitting to use real plates, as the sharing of plates of food is an inherent part of the culture of these cafes."

Shamil Thakrar, co-founder, Dishoom commented: “We love sharing stories at Dishoom –especially through design. What we most enjoyed about this idea is the way it literally bakes these unique and personal stories into Dishoom. It makes them into something that every guest can experience for themselves and encourages them to share stories of their own. In this way, the memories will live on.”

To keep the tradition of storytelling alive, customers to this new Bombay café are invited to submit their own stories and memories via The best will be chosen and baked onto plates, ready for Dishoom restaurant goers to read and share, keeping the tradition of storytelling alive long after the Irani Cafes have all but disappeared.

For further information contact:
Poppy Nagra
Group Communications
Ogilvy & Mather UK
Tel. +44 (0)7345 3314
BB. +44 (0)7785459548
About Dishoom
Dishoom Covent Garden opened in July 2010 and was followed by pop-up Chowpatty Beach at Southbank in the summer of 2011. Dishoom Shoreditch opened in October 2012.

DISHOOM /dishu:m/ n.

1. The old Bollywood sound effect produced when a hero lands a good punch, or when a bullet flies through the air
2. Similar to popular slang usage of the expression “Mojo”; e.g. “He’s got that Dishoom”

Dishoom Covent Garden
12 Upper St Martin’s Lane
Tel: 020 7420 9320

Dishoom Shoreditch
7 Boundary Street
E2 7JE

Tel: 020 7420 9324
Twitter: @Dishoom

About OgilvyOne Worldwide
OgilvyOne Worldwide is the strongest, most experienced and most highly awarded one-to-one marketing network in the world, with over 100 offices in 40+ countries. It provides clients with a full range of direct, consulting and interactive services to deliver profitable customer relationships. The roster of clients is equally balanced between global clients including American Express, British Airways, IBM, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Kimberly-Clark, Nestlé and Unilever, UPS and leading clients in our local markets. OgilvyOne Worldwide is a unit of Ogilvy &
Mather, a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world's largest communications services groups. For more information, visit

Acrobat Document ogilvy_dishoom_mar13.pdf

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