Surf Excel Holi Ad row: People downrate Microsoft Excel on play store after mistaking it as official app of detergent

New Delhi: The new TV advertisement for detergent brand Surf Excel based on the theme of religious harmony that received much flak on social media recently for allegedly hurting sentiments has inadvertently stirred up a new row. There is already a hashtag #boycottSurfexcel that has been trending on social media for several days and now some people, mistaking software giant Microsoft’s MS Excel App for the official app of the detergent have downrated it on Google Play Store.

The one-minute-long ad features a young Hindu girl, dressed in a white t-shirt, who chooses to get stained in Holi colours in order to protect her young Muslim friend who has to go to the nearby mosque to pray. The advertisement ends with its classic tagline, daag acche hain (stains are good).

Under this campaign, the brand released an advertisement created around the Hindu-Muslim unity theme and instantly faced flak for the concept. With the advertisement, Hindustan Unilever, owner of Surf Excel, attempts to promote religious harmony and bring people together with the power of colours.

Released on February 27, the video has already managed to gather around 7,737,800 views on YouTube. On Twitter, however, the campaign has faced the wrath of users who feel that the ad is Hindu phobic’ and controversial and wants to showcase that Namaaz is more important than Holi. This is not the first time Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has faced flack for the plotline of their advertisement.

Earlier this year, HUL Kumbh Mela advertisement had irked several Twitter users. In the ad, a son contemplates abandoning his aged father in the crowd, but soon realises his mistake and comes back to him. Soon after the ad was shared on the HUL twitter handle, people objected to it by saying it hurt sentiments of Hindus and portrayed the festival in wrong light.

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