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Surf Excel's Latest Ad Face Backlash On Twitter For Promoting Hindu-Muslim Harmony

ANJALI NEGI | 0
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| March 13 , 2019 , 17:08 IST

Detergent brand Surf Excel is facing a backlash in India for a heart-warming commercial promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony as part of its latest Holi special #RangLaayeSang campaign with angry viewers calling for a boycott.

The ad centres around the Hindu spring festival Holi, also known as the festival of colours, which includes the tradition of people drenching each other with brightly coloured paint. It depicts a young girl on a bicycle goading children to soak her in Holi colours until all of their ammunition runs out so that a Muslim boy can go to a nearby mosque for prayers without getting hit with colours.

Named Rang Laaye Sang, the ad is supposed to show communal harmony, a message that wasn't well received by people on the internet. Many said it was Hindu phobic, promoting “love jihad” and some even said that it wants to showcase that the Muslim prayer namaz is more important than Hindu festival, Holi.

Others questioned the logic of the ad as namaaz can be offered at home too. Some others were irked by Holi colours being compared to ‘daag’. A few even asked Hindustan Unilever, the company which owns Surf Excel, if they would reverse the gender in the ad and show it differently.

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Reacting to the backlash, Prathap Suthan, known for creating the India Shining campaign and managing partner of agency Bang in the Middle, said, “Asking people to be restrained and tolerant of another’s sentiments and religion is not wrong. These are strong social messages. If our leaders don’t say it, brands ought to. There has to be a nullification of the overt hate in this country.”

However for all those attacking the ad, just as many appeared to appreciate its message and claimed they would go out of their way to support the company. Either way, the video has surely got people talking and the marketers will chalk that up as a win.