Social media has turned into one powerful weapon and it now has the power to construct or destruct a society’s thought process. We have seen many brands create powerful ads and campaigns to send out a message to society, but sometimes these ads aren’t well received and the power of the faceless comments on social media is such that they are forced to pull down these commercials.
While some commercials faced backlash for the right reasons, some did deserve a chance to highlight the importance of the same. So here we are with a list of brands that faced backlash for their “creative” ad campaigns. Do let us know through our social media pages, whether or not they deserved the hate they received.
1. Fem, Dabur
It seems a lot of Indian sentiments were hurt this year, and here another one bites the dust. Dabur India faced backlash for its commercial of Fem bleach. This ad was created for the occasion of Karva Chauth. The ad showed the love between a same-sex couple and this didn’t go down well with some of the Indian audience. (Some did appreciate the thought behind the ad)
Watch the ad
Well done, Fem/Dabur!— Abhishek Baxi (@baxiabhishek) October 22, 2021
A nice film for a traditional, often-criticized festival by an otherwise conservative brand. pic.twitter.com/gHBTca6jP8
Hindu festivals are constantly being targeted , this time Dabur's Fem Bleach comes with a very bad advertisement , in which a lesbian couple is shown making fun of karwa chauth— मनीश (@Manish_117) October 24, 2021
🚫🚫🚫🚫#BoycottFem & Dabur pic.twitter.com/bhrp8OB4cU
This is ridiculous!!— Nishant Khare (@Nishantkhare09) October 24, 2021
Why corporate like Fem (Dabur) uses Hindu festivals to propogate any thought
Mixing Lesbian relation into "Karvachauth"
This time they must be taught a lesson.. @NSO365#BoycottFem pic.twitter.com/tZKxhtWuLC
#BoycottFem & Dabur. You must learn to respect Hindu sentiments while using our festivals for advertising your products. We boycott your bogus pro-LGBTQ ad promoting same-sex couples and relationships.@NSO365 @nshuklaindia pic.twitter.com/CT1vRSkncb— Jai Sri Ram 🇮🇳 (@JaiShriRam10008) October 24, 2021
Soon after facing the backlash and after receiving a warning from the Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra of legal action against the firm, Dabur withdrew their commercial and issued a statement.
2. Fab India
Fab India is at the receiving end because of a Diwali-themed advertisement and named it “‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’. An uproar was seen over the Urdu name used in the commercial and many sections of the society called it culturally inappropriate for “unnecessarily including Muslim ideologies in a Hindu festival”
Deepavali is not Jash-e-Riwaaz.— Fae (@FaeItsfae) October 19, 2021
No way you can lslamisize Hindu festivals.
This deliberate attempt of abrahamisation of Hindu festivals, depicting models without traditional Hindu attires, must be called out. Stop your fcking religious propoganda.#BoycottFabIndia pic.twitter.com/Zjz3uwzysu
3. Manyavar Ad
Manyavar’s latest Mohey ad featuring Alia Bhatt faced backlash due to its concept. The commercial tried to highlight sexism present in the ritual of Kanyadaan and tried to send out a message saying that daughters aren’t just a burden to marry off. They introduced the concept of Kanyamaan – Tradition wahi, soch nayi. The concept did highlight equality, but many saw it as an attack on the Hindu wedding ritual. Social media then saw the trending of the hashtag boycott manyavar.
Watch the ad:
Hindu festivals and traditions are not a marketing opportunity. Learn to respect our culture. #Boycott_Manyavar— Keypad Warrior Ter 🇮🇳 🕉 (@sushdishaTer) September 22, 2021
Hindu tradition, kanyadaan means to make a donation or a 'Daan' to receive salvation.— Sanjiv K Pundir (@k_pundir) September 23, 2021
This is one ritual that is over driven by immense emotional value as a father has to let go of the most precious thing known to him.#Boycott_Manyavar for hurting Hindu sentiments. pic.twitter.com/8gFpNYZXky
4. Zomato Ad
Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif were recently seen in a Zomato ad. While the brand wanted to promote its fast delivery policy, it faced severe backlash saying that they ill-treat their employees. People also pointed out saying that instead of spending a bomb on hiring A-listers for their advertisements, it’s better to spend that money on the delivery executives.
Watch the ad:
What Zomato ad shows : Zomato delivery guys treat all customers like stars.— The Kaipullai (@thekaipullai) August 28, 2021
What it actually means: The delivery deadlines are so tight, that a delivery guy can't take out 30 seconds for a small thing like Selfie..
So zomato agrees that they overwork their delivery executives. Also, why don't you pay your delivery executives instead of paying these celebrities to do these ads? https://t.co/6Z5eNJlTti— Anandita. (@mightbeana) August 27, 2021
Zomato would rather make these obscenely expensive ads meant as damage control for the issue of underpaid delivery staff, than paying them fair wages. https://t.co/v9xmomqcMY— Secession Day 🇵🇸 (@bigdeekenergyy) August 27, 2021
5. Tanishq Ad
Tanishq’s ad of interfaith marriage had raised eyebrows and it faced so much flak on the internet that they were forced to pull the commercial down. The brand was accused of promoting love jihad and was called out for showing the custom of the bridal shower (godh bharai) in a Muslim household. While many criticized the ad, Shashi Tharoor stood strongly by the message sent out by the brand.
Watch the ad:
So Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott of @TanishqJewelry for highlighting Hindu-Muslim unity through this beautiful ad. If Hindu-Muslim “ekatvam” irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India? pic.twitter.com/cV0LpWzjda— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 13, 2020
Tanishq jewellery's 'Ekatvam' series' ad projects a fictional 'interfaith' union, a Muslim family, a Hindu daughter-in-law being allowed to do a Hindu ritual.— Sanjay Dixit ಸಂಜಯ್ ದೀಕ್ಷಿತ್ संजय दीक्षित (@Sanjay_Dixit) October 12, 2020
Nothing but promotion of love jihad on the same day Rahul Rajput was killed #BoycottTanishq https://t.co/QD46Sa32fB
Interesting that in that nauseating #interfaith ad by @TanishqJewelry how the bride is shown Hindu, but the ‘रस्म’ is shown without ANY Hindu symbols, no Murti, no Pandit, no one from the bride’s family. Waiting for a similar ad where the bride is Muzlim and the family is Hindu!— Shefali Vaidya. 🇮🇳 (@ShefVaidya) October 13, 2020
After Tanishq pulled down the advertisement, many came out and said that Tanishq shouldn’t have chickened out.
This is really sad! How can a brand as strong as Tanishq from the House of Tata's chicken out based on trolls? In fact the trolls were helping you get more visibility for your ad. #Tanishq #Advertising . https://t.co/kNiuvJunUu— Raj Nayak (@rajcheerfull) October 13, 2020
6. Ceat Tyres Ad
Aamir Khan’s recent advertisement for the Ceat tires sparked a lot of debate. The commercial shows Aamir Khan advising people not to burst firecrackers on the streets. This has put the ad into controversy. Karnataka BJP MP raised an issue against the ad and said that if bursting crackers on the street is an issue then blocking roads in the name of Namaz on Fridays and other important festive days by Muslims should be a problem too.
Watch the ad:
Don’t burst firecrackers on the streets during Diwali : Actor Aamir Khan appeals through the advertisement of ‘CEAT Tyre’— Aravinda Baliga (@baliga_2012) October 17, 2021
Would he ever advice ‘Don’t offer namaz on the street ?’
Time to show the door this Deepavali ! pic.twitter.com/zLxlsES0MD
Dear ceat tyres we are Waiting for you to make an Ad saying roads are meant for vehicles not for stone pelting or doing Namaz and Amir khan go give gyaan to ur community about road ethics. #ShameonYouCeatTyres pic.twitter.com/truvPfIJZs— Mission Kaali – Say No To Conversion (@missionkaali) October 22, 2021
7. Surf Excel Ad
Another ad that stayed in the limelight for all the wrong reasons is of the Surf Excel. The commercial showed Hindu Muslim unity during the festival of Holi. They combined their tagline Daag Acche Hai with the Holi special tagline Rang Laaye Sang to show the love between the two communities, but it didn’t go well with the audience and it ended up receiving hate.
Watch the ad:
#boycottSurfexcel because you also know that the add is humiliating Hinduism. And promoting love jehad. Gender selection and talking holi colour as "daag" is not acceptable by hindu because it is done intentionally. Gender selection could have been reverse also.— मेरा भारत महान:वंदे मातरम् (@MBMRKDr) March 10, 2019