Social Throwback: Brands that won hearts in 2019

Social Throwback

There are campaigns that shine bright owing to appropriate concepts, then there are brands who believe in going beyond the ‘sale metrics’ and business. We introduce you to a few brands that were in the news in 2019 for the right reasons.

In July 2019, ‘Food has no Religion’ this tweet by Zomato India caught the attention of the whole nation wherein the brand stood for its delivery employee and chose to call out one of its consumers for religious discrimination. In another major corporate development, Tata Steels in December introduced a new human resource policy that enables its employees from the LGBTQ+ community to declare their partners and avail HR benefits permissible under the law.

With a lot happening on the political and social front, it is difficult to take a stand and when brands to, they manage to stand out for all the right reasons.

Online research revealed that consumers respond better to brands that display corporate responsibility, with 73% of people believing that companies should do more than just offer a product or service. Marketers are now focusing on going beyond their CSR goals to make the world a better place.

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mondelēz International, Irene Rosenfeld once said – “To build and sustain brands people love and trust, one must focus not only on today but also on tomorrow. It’s not easy…but balancing the short and long term is key to delivering sustainable, profitable growth-growth that is good for our shareholders but also good for our consumers, our employees, our business partners, the communities where we live and work, and the planet we inhabit.”

Every word of Rosenfeld’s in the above quote sparks reality in the truest sense.

We list a few brands that pulled off virtuous stints this year and stirred conversations for the good.

Zomato India

Amit Shukla, a Zomato customer placed an order with the food delivery service and later canceled it on account of the delivery partner being of the Muslim religion. Shukla tweeted about it which did not go down well with Twitterati and the company itself.

Deepinder Goyal, Founder, Zomato too joined the conversation to echo the company’s sentiments and stand for its people.

The tweets soon went viral and Zomato garnered grand applause from the netizens.

Axis Bank #EarlySalary for Diwali

Diwali coming earlier than salary shouldn’t come in the way of our dreams during the festival. Axis Bank chose to answer this by giving out early salaries to its employees as a gesture of love.

The brand’s campaign #SalaryBeforeDiwali celebrated this spirit of Diwali.

In October 2019, the Indian Banks’ Association asked top management of the private sector, public sector, and foreign banks to pay one month’s salary as advance ahead of Deepawali.

Tata Steel

With its vision to provide equal opportunity to all employees, Tata Steel introduced a human resource policy that enables its employees from the LGBTQ+ community to declare their partners and avail all HR benefits permissible under the law.

The new policy provides Tata Executive Holiday Plan honeymoon package to its LGBTQ+ employees along with a lot of benefits, comprising medical services, health check-ups, joint house points, adoption leave, child-care leave, new-born parent leave and integration in the employee-assistance program.

The welcoming announcement saw itself shared and liked a thousand times over, hailed by the citizens.


In December this year, the whole of twitter-verse came together to laud Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer, Sanjiv Kapoor’s act of defending his employee.

Kapoor came to one of his crew member’s rescue when a Twitter user posted a photo of a Vistara flight attendant taking a nap at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda Airport’s lounge and tagged Sanjiv Kapoor. The user said, “Your cabin crew providing negative image of **** airline @BLR domestic lounge on December 3. Please improve your image provided by the cabin crew.”

To which Kapoor instantly replied saying-

Twitterati soon poured in their support for the Vistara chief and criticized the user for taking the picture without permission.

Tata Group – Ratan Tata offers a Job to the Good Samaritan

Shantanu Naidu’s simple act of love and kindness landed him a job offer from none other than business tycoon Ratan Tata himself. After completing his graduation in 2014, Shantanu joined the Tata group. On his way back home from work, he saw a dead body of a dog lying on the roads. This unfortunate incident prompted him to make collars for stray dogs which has reflectors on them so that drivers could see the stray animals from a distance while driving at night. Later, his work for stray dogs got covered in the Tata Group of Companies’ newsletter.

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“I graduated in 2014 & started working at Tata group. Life was pretty smooth, until one evening, I saw the dead body of a dog on the road. I’ve always been fond of dogs & also rescued a few. So, seeing a stray like that killed me. I stood there thinking about bringing the body to the side, when another car ran over it—I was gutted. I knew that I had to do something. So I called a few friends & made a collar with reflectors on it, for drivers to see the dog from afar. The next day, we went & put these collars on stray dogs. I didn’t know if it would work, but when I received a message saying that a dog had been saved because of the collar—it felt amazing! Soon, word spread & our work got covered in the Tata group of companies’ newsletter. People wanted to buy our collars, but we had no funding. That’s when my dad asked me to write a letter to Mr. Ratan Tata, since he loves dogs too. I was hesitant, but then I thought, ‘Why not?’ So I wrote him a handwritten letter & forgot about it! Two months later, I received a letter from Mr. Ratan Tata himself! When I opened it, it said that he loved our work & would like to meet me—I couldn’t believe it! A few days later I met him at his office in Mumbai. He told me,‘I’m deeply touched by the work you do!’ I still get goosebumps thinking about it. He then took me to see his dogs & that’s how our friendship began. He also funded our venture! I left for my masters soon, but I promised him that once I finished, I would work for the Tata Trust & he accepted my request! As soon as I came back to India, he called me & said ‘I have a lot of work to be done in my office. Would you like to be my assistant?’—I didn't know how to react. So I took a deep breath, & a few seconds later said ‘Yes!’ It’s been 18 months since I’ve been working for him & even now, I have to pinch myself to know that this isn’t a dream. People my age have a hard time finding the right set of friends, the right mentor & the right kind of boss. But I can’t believe my stars that I found all these humans in one superhuman named Mr. Ratan Tata. People lovingly call him Boss, but I like to call him the ‘Millennial Dumbledore’—I think that name suits him the best."

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Post the incident, Shantanu decided to take a step so as to help prevent such incidents and on his father’s advice wrote a letter to Ratan Tata as he too is fond of the dogs. Two months later, he received a reply from Ratan Tata inviting Shantanu at his office. Tata also helped him to set up his venture Moto Paws to make reflective collars for stray dogs that make them easily visible.

Once Shantanu returned to India after pursuing his masters, he received a call from Tata with a job offer to become his assistant.

If you think we have missed similar gestures by other brands, kindly write to us at [email protected]

For a quick #SocialThrowback of the industry click here.