Brand ads and campaigns are getting more creative and topical, but it also means that people pay more attention to them. And while this creativity brings a lot of liberty, there’s also a sense of responsibility that people expect from brands. So, anything that might come across as offensive or insensitive faces repercussion, and that’s what happened with a recent Zomato ad.
Zomato’s new ad, Kachra Bhi Khelega, is a campaign that focuses on waste management and recycling. The ad showed the actor who portrayed ‘Kachra’ in Lagaan posing as recycled objects for the entirety of the advertisement. The brand meant to send out the message that they recycle most of the plastic that is used to package their orders.
This didn’t sit well with people because of how it was portrayed. Some mentioned that it was insensitive to show a person as an object. Filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan found it casteist, given that the character in Lagaan was a voiceless depiction of a specific caste, and his portrayal in the film was questionable.
However, after the ad drew flak on the internet, Zomato has taken it down. The brand also issued a statement on Twitter.
Here’s what people said:
The ad was released on World Environment Day.