#AbLagRahiDiwali an emotional yet repetitive tale by Surf Excel

Surf Excel

Light symbolizes hope. Binding this thought firmer, Surf Excel plugs in some buoyancy for humanity by greeting the glorious Indian festival of Diwali and warming the hearts of their consumers through the eyes of a little boy in their digital film, #AbLagRahiDiwali.

The traditional artwork of Rangoli is beautifully laid, glittery streets with fairy lights bokeh, festive outfits prepared, vividly wrapped gifts, piles of assorted sweets filling the dining tables and of course the flames of diyas glowing brighter than ever, the festive vibes can be thoroughly felt.

The story-telling script introduces us to the two worlds, one mentioned above of a prosperous family while the latter is all about chipped off aged roofs and walls, dim and dull locale which screams of poverty and dismay of a mid-aged lonely laundry man.

Connecting the two lives through innocence and empathy of a child, the movie showcases how the kid goes out of his way with his friends, for his laundry man to spread some Diwali merry to him and fill his space with color of Rangoli by carelessly spoiling their own cloths, here making a brand connect.

Spreading the Diwali vibes?

“The film warms the cockles of one’s heart, so I guess it does its job of making people feel closer to the brand,” shared Prabhakar Mundkur, Chief Mention, HGS Interactive.

To briefly recapitulate, the emotions in the film by the characters are exceedingly contagious as the viewers go through the exact sentiments depicted in film making it an engaging journey. As Creative Director at Hungama Digital Service, Manesh Swamy shares, “#AbLagRahiDiwali has typically everything that a branded film needs to work, music, characters, feel-good factor and so on. The casting of the Laundry Guy is just right and has emoted very well, while the mother’s acting was just average.”

While the campaign seems to have all the elements of a festive video that tugs on the emotional strings, it seems to have gone overboard with overt branding.

Whereas, stating the drawbacks Gaurav De, Chief Creative Office at Triature shared,  “The narrative is overly embellished and the humanity is kind off lost. From a strategic or cultural point of view I especially don’t like the depiction of the better off doing something for the worst offs and if you’re truly as a brand talking about things being more equal maybe then the sense of celebration should not come out of that divide, but should come out with more of like how can I share this moment in a much more equal way,”

A banal competititon?

For the longest time the brand has managed to build an extremely strong brand recall with its tagline #DaagAcheHai and one can’t help but compare this Diwali campaign of the brand with what the neighbors did for the viral, heart-wrenching Eid campaign.

As Swamy too mentioned how #DaagAcheHai is a legacy now, so people are bound to compare with the previous films.

“At the core of the story, it’s another rendition of #DaagAcheHai which is the global idea for Surf Excel, now every year every big brand is obligated to do something for Diwali, the positive aspect of this particular piece is the innocence and the very innate childhood desire to share something,” expressed De

Both these festive films were scripted around the same theme, involving innocent kids spreading joy to the underprivileged at large.  On this note, Mundkur expressed, “I also spotted a bit of neighbor envy here. As if this film was trying to compete with the Eid film from Pakistan and they were attempting a bit of one-upmanship to please the Unilever bosses sitting in Black friars in London.”

Getting kids to spoil their clothes and celebrating the stains in their film has been the typical format of the brand with just tweaking of plot. Here, perceptibly they stuck to the same sketch, maintaining the tagline #DaagAcheHai, but Mundkur had a frank opinion about this brand ideology, “The product truth couldn’t have been more exaggerated, I find it tough to even get rid of mild stains off my clothes with Surf Excel; so I always wonder how they have the courage to claim that they can even get rid of such hard stains off someone’s clothes. We discuss this at home – and every time we see a stain after a wash with Surf Excel, we can’t feel conned by the advertising.”

Stainless on social media?

Considering the brand became a front-runner in tapping our screens with a topical Diwali campaign, over a week before the fiesta, it made a magnificent entry with 1,243,929 views on YouTube. Despite the digits, has the brand managed to serve justice through their content from a topical campaign as big as Diwali?

De adds, “I think the story has been rescued a bit towards the end when the mother appears saying ‘won’t you distribute sweets’ but overall it is a very predictable story-line. But from a social media point of view, I would skip it the second time. This campaign just needs a formula that needs a little revision to tell you the story.”

The brand hinted us of Diwali when they changed their Facebook profile picture, customized to the celebration and later sharing the video which received 13k views and even created a micro-site asking their audience to spread the joy with every around right from the watchman, pizza-delivery guy or even your laundry guy.

Crackers (read campaigns) have began bursting on the social media, Surf Excel has done a fair job in creating a connect between the festival and their brand through an emotionally executed campaign.


A vintage soul wedged in a wrong era, Aishwaria is contemplating life through the stardust of words. The typical Gemini is striving to seek balance between being downright dreamy to oh-so pragmatic. She’s a strong supporter of wildlife conservation and the Queer community and craves to go around the world with her pen and camera. If you don’t see her writing, she’s probably snuggled up in a corner binge eating on pizza, listening to Coldplay and fantasizing about being in the wild.