Boycott or Not? Twitterati Remain Divided Over #SurfExcel Ad Promoting Communal Harmony

On March 7, Hindustan Unilever, the company behind products such as Surf Excel, Lux, Kwality Walls, Fair and Lovely, Vaseline among others faced severe flak after they posted a video ad on their Twitter page. The ad which showed a man abandoning his elderly father at Kumbh Mela led to #BoycottHindustanUnilever trending on Twitter.

But it didn’t stop there. Days after, in an ad for one of their products – ‘Surf Excel’ on Holi, which depicted a religious angle, the company ended up upsetting several sections of social media. The advertisement showed a young girl riding a cycle during Holi, daring kids to toss colour at her until it runs out. Only when the ‘coast was clear,’ did she beckon a younger boy dressed in white pajamas and a skullcap to come out and give him a ride till the mosque for namaaz.

This advertisement had certain Twitterati feeling like all of the advertisements of religions are ‘always only directed at Hindus,’ and called the communal angle in the detergent ad ‘love jihad.’…