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March 21, 2019

#SurfExcel Ad: Konkona Sen Sharma and Vir Das Support Amidst Calls for Boycott


A controversy surrounding a Surf Excel ad has taken social media by a storm.
In this ad, a little girl is shown being doused with Holi colors whereas the young boy is shown as Muslim. The little girl takes the colors head on and the young Muslim boy rides the bicycle with her later. The ad was said to promote communal harmony at the time of Holi.
DO NOT SHARE THIS ADD!Boycott #SurfExcel!How dare they show colour, love, laughter, masti, innocence, cultural respect, bonding, bonhomie ….ALL IN ONE MINUTE?THIS WASHES OUT ALL THE WORK THAT WE HAVE PUT IN! ARE WE IDIOTS? I REPEAT DO NOT SHARE THIS AD!#BhaktBanerjee pic.twitter.com/xDMrnF3GoC — Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) March 10, 2019
The ad garnered backlash from some commentators and actor Konkona Sen Sharma and comedian Vir Das were among the many who supported the ad.
“Well done #SurfExcel for promoting religious harmony in these times! Great ad too. Ignore the haters,” tweeted Konkona Sensharma.
Well done #SurfExcel for promoting religious harmony in these times! Great ad too. Ignore the haters. https://t.co/TnjUUAr8Tz— Konkona Sensharma (@konkonas) March 10, 2019
Vir refused to call it a ‘backlash’ and said, “To call what happened backlash is paying it a compliment. How about ‘Completely irrational inherently stupid hatred motivated by too much free time’?”
To call what happened backlash is paying it a compliment. How about ‘Completely irrational inherently stupid hatred motivated by too much free time’? https://t.co/peA2XhY7Tp— Vir Das (@thevirdas) March 11, 2019
Vir Das also went on to address those boycotting the ad, “To the Bhakts. You have no idea how much Surf your outrage helped sell….congrats. You’re practically the new brand ambassadors.”
To the Bhakts. You have no idea how much Surf your outrage helped sell….congrats You’re practically the new brand ambassadors.— Vir Das (@thevirdas) March 11, 2019
Actor Siddharth tweeted, “Can Indian advertisers keep religion out of the picture while pushing FMCG products? Don’t complain when people witch hunt you later. I’m sure the red flags are visible when creatives are being finalised. You’re selling detergent! Crazy times warrant caution.”
Can Indian advertisers keep religion out of the picture while pushing FMCG products? Don’t complain when people witch hunt you later. I’m sure the red flags are visible when creatives are being finalised. You’re selling detergent! Crazy times warrant caution.— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) March 11, 2019
Shruthi Seth also tweeted, “Everyone I know has switched to #SurfExcel; especially for Holi.”
Everyone I know has switched to #SurfExcel ;especially for Holi— Shruti Seth (@SethShruti) March 11, 2019
Swara Bhasker called out the #BoycottSurfExcel trend which emerged soon after the ad. Swara said, “Search #BoycottSurfExcel hashtag and witness #TheCultOfStupidity in action. I hope @HUL_News will have the conviction to stand by their advertisement aimed at promoting communal harmony & not be cowed down by hate mongers.”
Search #BoycottSurfExcel hashtag and witness #TheCultOfStupidity in action. I hope @HUL_News will have the conviction to stand by their advertisement aimed at promoting communal harmony & not be cowed down by hate mongers.— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) March 9, 2019
Vivek Agnihotri said that the ad was “plain stupid and regressive. Period.”
This ad is plain stupid and regressive. Period. https://t.co/d4xRs6JQag— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) March 10, 2019
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