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

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Surf excel/YouTube

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Ten million individuals have watched the advert

A social-media marketing campaign towards a model of washing powder in India has raised eyebrows by taking an unintentional sideswipe at a Microsoft app.

The advert for Surf Excel makes use of the upcoming Hindu spring competition of Holi for example a narrative about cross-communal concord, India’s Telegraph newspaper studies.

The advert reveals a woman on a bicycle having fun with the favored Holi observe of being pelted with balloons full of colored paint and water, then taking a small boy wearing pristine white Muslim garments to prayers at his mosque earlier than promising to play Holi video games with him afterwards.

The advert acquired greater than ten million views and 100,000 “likes” on YouTube, however angered some viewers.

‘Colors unite’

Critics of the advert have organised complaints towards Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), who make Surf Excel, accusing its Colors Unite (Rang laaye sang) advert of being “anti-Hindu” and “anti-national”.

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

However a few of their followers have confused the washing powder with Microsoft Excel, giving the cellular spreadsheet app single-star scores on the Google Play Retailer – a lot to the amusement of different social-media customers.

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

‘Collective facepalm’

“Twitter collectively facepalmed,” was how News 18 TV characterised the selection number of mockery and incredulity that it showcased on its web site.

The Times of India studies that “some good Samaritans” have been giving five-star scores to the Microsoft Excel app, as a way to “counter out-of-context opinions”.

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

Sanjay Nirupam, the chief of the opposition Congress occasion in Mumbai, tweeted: “He who objects to this advert by #SurfExcel is nothing however towards the concept of India. Hatsoff who created this stunning movie.”

And the previous chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir State, Mehbooba Mufti, was not alone in pondering the marketing campaign was the work of the “bhakts” – a time period typically used to explain the net supporters of the governing BJP, a celebration related to Hindu nationalism.

“I’ve a greater suggestion. Bhakts must be washed correctly with Surf Excel,” she tweeted.

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Twitter

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Some observers suspect a political motivation

Reporting by Alistair Coleman and Martin Morgan

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