Hindustan Unilever's Kumbh Mela ad sparks controversy, Ramdev calls for boycott
Hindustan Unilever is known for its brilliant marketing campaigns. But on Thursday, the FMCG giant found itself on backfoot when it tweeted an advertisement based on recently concluded Kumbh Mela. In the 30-second long clip, a son is seen abandoning his father in the Mela. The father keeps on calling out his son, but the man leaves him. Soon, the son spots another father-son duo, which reminds him of his childhood. At last, he finds hid father sitting at near a tea vendor sipping chai. The ad ends with both father and son enjoying Hindustan Unilever’s Red Label tea.
In now deleted tweet, Hindustan Unilever said, “#KumbhMela 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.”
The ad has been posted again on company’s official Twitter account. But this time, the aforementioned tweet is not there. “@RedLabelChai encourages us to hold the hands of those who made us who we are. Watch the heart-warming video #ApnoKoApnao,” says the new description.
Looks like the ad has irked many people with #BoycottHindustanUnilever trending on the micro-blogging site since morning. Yog Guru Ramdev also took to Twitter and called for its boycott. “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,” the Patanjali founder said.
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
The Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, was held in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj from January 15 on Makar Sakranti to March 4 this year. The Kumbh draws lakhs of pilgrims over the course of approximately 55 auspicious days to bathe at the Sangam. It is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years.
According to Kumbh Mela administration, till February 9, as many as 14.94 crore devotees have already visited the place. The entire Kumbh Mela area wore an illuminated look, and devotees approaching the Sangam area through Kali Marg were mesmerized by the LED lighting at the event. Kumbh Mela police this time used gas balloons as an indicator to the public thronging the mela area to locate the lost and found centres run by it. Choppers were also used for aerial monitoring of the Kumbh mela area.