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Indian online detergent boycott misfires

Surf Excel's Holi-themed washing powder advert, India, 2019

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Surf excel/YouTube

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Ten million other people have watched the ad

A social-media marketing campaign in opposition to a emblem of washing powder in India has raised eyebrows by means of taking an unintended sideswipe at a Microsoft app.

The ad for Surf Excel makes use of the approaching Hindu spring pageant of Holi for example a tale about cross-communal team spirit, India’s Telegraph newspaper studies.

The ad displays a lady on a bicycle taking part in the preferred Holi apply of being pelted with balloons filled with colored paint and water, then taking a small boy wearing pristine white Muslim garments to prayers at his mosque sooner than promising to play Holi video games with him afterwards.

The advert won greater than ten million perspectives and 100,000 “likes” on YouTube, however angered some audience.

‘Colors unite’

Critics of the ad have organised court cases in opposition to Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), who make Surf Excel, accusing its Colors Unite (Rang laaye sang) ad of being “anti-Hindu” and “anti-national”.

They’ve posted photos of used HUL merchandise like flattened toothpaste tubes along side the hashtags #BoycottSurfExcel and #BoycottHindustanUnilever.

However a few of their fans have perplexed the showering powder with Microsoft Excel, giving the cell spreadsheet app single-star scores at the Google Play Retailer – a lot to the amusement of alternative social-media customers.

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“I’ve not laughed this hard in a very long time,” tweeted device engineer Dhiraj Kumar, as he and others got here around the Google Play evaluations.

‘Collective facepalm’

“Twitter jointly facepalmed,” used to be how Information 18 TV characterized the selection number of mockery and incredulity that it showcased on its web site.

The Instances of India studies that “some just right Samaritans” had been giving five-star scores to the Microsoft Excel app, with a view to “counter out-of-context evaluations”.

The Surf Excel ad has attracted many on-line defenders, a few of them very high-profile.

Sanjay Nirupam, the chief of the opposition Congress celebration in Mumbai, tweeted: “He who items to this advert by means of #SurfExcel is not anything however in opposition to the speculation of India. Hatsoff who created this pretty movie.”

And the previous leader minister of Jammu and Kashmir State, Mehbooba Mufti, used to be now not on my own in pondering the marketing campaign used to be the paintings of the “bhakts” – a time period continuously used to explain the net supporters of the governing BJP, a celebration related to Hindu nationalism.

“I’ve a greater recommendation. Bhakts will have to be washed correctly with Surf Excel,” she tweeted.

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Some observers suspect a political motivation

Reporting by means of Alistair Coleman and Martin Morgan

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