Surf Excel Outrage: How to Make the Perfect Ad for Supersensitive Indians

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Surf Excel Outrage: How to Make the Perfect Ad for Supersensitive Indians

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

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arely two weeks after tearing itself apart in a debate over military operations in a neighbouring country, beloved social media platform Twitter moved on to outraging about something more up its alley. Detergent brand Surf Excel released an ad celebrating Holi, and the very vocal section of social media that we all know and love, decided this was the final nail in the anti-national’s coffin. What followed were thousands of posts demanding that any product even closely related to the detergent be boycotted, and a number of ridiculously OTT reactions by anonymous accounts with three followers.

For those who haven’t seen the ad, it tells the story of every Indian Holi ever — dozens of children assault pedestrians with water balloons from their balconies, until a little girl rides into the screen on a cycle. The girl encourages the neighbourhood children to try and come at her (displaying her inner Roadies spirit) and the kids oblige. In the end it emerges that this was all just a charade, and that the girl had a hidden agenda. She took a number of balloons to the face, so that her little friend, a Muslim boy, could reach the masjid unharmed. That’s it, end of the ad. And the beginning of outrage from Indian trolls.  

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