Hindustan Unilever’s Red Label released their campaign for Kumbh Mela with the hashtag #ApnoKoApnao. The video was posted on Twitter with the message “Red Label encourages us to hold the hands of those who made us who we are.” The campaign video has since sparked a controversy and #BoycottHindustanUnilever is trending on Twitter.
Kumbh Mela is a Hindu Pilgrimage held every 3 years with an estimated footfall of 120 million. Many brands have often created campaigns around this mass attraction of India to garner attention for their product due to the popularity of this sacred event. Hindustan Unilever’s Brookebond Red Label too banked upon the occasion and created a campaign touching a sensitive topic related to old age. The video has received ubiquitous flak on Twitter.
Watch the TVC below :
Hindustan Unilever has now deleted their old tweet which quoted “Kumbh Mela is a place where old people get abandoned, isn’t it sad that we do not care for our elders?#RedLabel encourages us to hold the hands of those who made us who we are. Watch the heartwarming video; an eye opener to a harsh reality #FatherSon #Bond #Oldage.”
After backlash, they have deleted the tweet.
— Lalitha Lakshmi லலிதா லக்ஷ்மி ललिता लक्ष्मी 🇮🇳🚩 (@lalitha_jr) March 7, 2019
They have now re-posted the video with a revised message
@RedLabelChai encourages us to hold the hands of those who made us who we are. Watch the heart-warming video #ApnoKoApnao pic.twitter.com/P3mZCsltmt
— Hindustan Unilever (@HUL_News) March 7, 2019
This campaign has hit the wrong foot with people and have uprooted a widespread backlashing on Twitter. The hashtag #BoycottHindustandUnilever has since been trending on Twitter. Netizens have called out Hindustan Unilever for promoting the notion that Hindus leave behind their old-age parents at Kumbh Mela. They have termed this ad insensitive and tone deaf.
So this AD is still played!!!!!
— vas 🇮🇳 (@v2l2b2) March 7, 2019
Look what's the propaganda coming. Demeaning and discrediting Kumbh… Kumbh Mela is a place where old people get abandoned? I mean seriously?This is how British Christians worked against Hindu philosophy. #BoycottHULProducts #BoycottHindustanUnilever pic.twitter.com/PgFa6vN2In
— देशी आदमी (@apnokiawaz) March 7, 2019
I called out Hindustan Unilever for their shameful tweet which was disrespectful towards Hindus.
Their tweet has now been deleted. These MNCs hire pseudo liberals in the Marketing Department and this is the result. I urge all self respecting Hindus to #BoycottHindustanUnilever pic.twitter.com/Wl1OozV0HF
— Harshit Tiwari 🇮🇳 (@kallgorr) March 7, 2019
The whole purpose of Kumbh mela is just reduced to abandoning elders. These ads are circulated in different mediums which I will say that feeding in people’s brain that Kumbh is all about abandoning elders.
It’s time for action time to #BoycottHindustanUnilever products.. pic.twitter.com/GB4lYMffwS
— KamalLochan (କମଲ) (@Kamallochanm) March 7, 2019
Baba Ramdev has taken this occasion to promote the use of Patanjali, a homegrown brand of India
From East India Co to @HUL_News that’s their true character. Their only agenda is to make the country poor economically & ideologically. Why shld we not boycott them? For them everything, every emotion is just a commodity. For us parents are next to Gods #BoycottHindustanUnilever https://t.co/suozbymLBI
— Swami Ramdev (@yogrishiramdev) March 7, 2019
Netizens to have aligned with his philosophy
— Shivam Bansal 🇮🇳 (@bakait_bansal) March 7, 2019
Buy Patanjali world class Products +Money u spend on Patanjali Products will remain in Bharat✔
Aloo Vera gel
— GAGAN ⚡SKY⚡ (@blue21sky) March 7, 2019
— CASahab (@iJDsaab) March 7, 2019
Also read: Making of Ariel #ShareTheLoad- The movement that sparked conversations on household inequality
Whereas a few Twitterati have spoken in support of Hindustan Unilever
Stop criticising @HUL_News, this is the bitter truth, there are many reports of such incidents.A screenshot attached which is the report of 2013's Kumbh. #StandWithHUL. I don't #BoycottHindustanUnilever pic.twitter.com/3RQtqAlkwG
— Rakesh Tripathi (@rakesh_rockey) March 7, 2019
Dear Liberal friends,
Kumbh is for abandoning parents.
Diwali is for spreading pollution.
Holi is for Eve teasing
Dussehra is racism against dark skinned Ravana.
We stand with Hindustan Unilever’s courageous attempt to expose these “festivals”
— Gaurav kr Mishra 🇮🇳 (@Gauravmtweet) March 7, 2019
Hindustan Unilever has maintained silence on this issue and no tweets have been made since.