Boycott Surf Excel: Detergent brand faces backlash for ad promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony

In the ad, a young Hindu girl, dressed in a white t-shirt, chooses to get stained in Holi colours in order to protect her young Muslim friend who has to go to the nearby mosque to pray.

Published: 10th March 2019 06:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2019 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

A screengrab from the Surf Excel advertisement.

A screengrab from the Surf Excel advertisement.


"Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain, rangon mein rang mil jaate hain gile shikwe bhool ke doston, dushman bhi gale mil jaate hai (As the colours blend with each other, on the day of Holi everybody is happy. As the colours blend with each other, even enemies keep aside their differences and hug each other)", so goes the lyrics of one of the most iconic Hindi songs that celebrates the festival by acknowledging its spirit of togetherness.

Detergent brand Surf Excel, known for its heart-warming advertisements, recently tried to do something similar with its latest Holi special (colours that bring us together) campaign. Under this campaign, the brand released an advertisement created around the Hindu-Muslim unity theme and instantly faced flak for the concept.

The one-minute-long ad features a young Hindu girl, dressed in a white t-shirt, who chooses to get stained in Holi colours in order to protect her young Muslim friend who has to go to the nearby mosque to pray.

The advertisement ends with its classic tagline: "Daag acche hain. Agar kuch achha karne mein daag lag jaaye toh daag achhe hain. (Stains that come as a part of a good deed are good stains)." With the advertisement, Hindustan Unilever, owner of Surf Excel, tries promoting religious harmony and bringing people together with the power of colours.

Released on February 27, the video has already managed to gather around 7,737,800 views on YouTube.

On Twitter, however, the campaign has faced the wrath of users who feel that the ad is 'Hindu-phobic' and wants to showcase that Namaaz is more important than Holi. Twitter is filled with tweets criticising the ad under the hashtag boycott Surf Excel.

This is not the first time Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has faced flack for the plotline of their advertisement. Earlier this year, HUL Kumbh Mela advertisement had irked several Twitter users. In the ad, a son contemplates abandoning his aged father in the crowd, but soon realises his mistake and comes back to him. Soon after the ad was shared on the HUL Twitter handle, people objected to it by saying it hurt sentiments of Hindus and portrayed the festival in a wrong light.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Dr. Siddharth Vats

    2 years ago reply
  • Sanjay

    Surf Excel shall be routed out from India in any case. In my house there won't be Surf Excel here onwards.
    2 years ago reply
  • ssn

    But the main issue here is why portray any fear or enemity at all and an impression that the atmosphere or daily life is so tense
    2 years ago reply
  • Pranay

    What's wrong with people. One kid protected the other's clothes from getting coloured. It's such a simple concept. Why bring random angles to it.
    2 years ago reply
    • Vikas

      Are u really comparing the colours on our clothes as DAAG? I mean really.
      2 years ago reply
      • Sid

        this dude really dont need any kinda cloth washer. DAAG ki definition bataiyo bc. if colors on clothes aren't daag
        2 years ago reply
      • Manoj

        So you always go to temple with DAAGs on ur clothes right?!! Hypocrisy...
        2 years ago reply
  • Krishna

    So far Surf has suggested Hindus abandon their parents and that they target Muslims during Holi. But Surf is an honourable company! It has no anti-Hindu bias. God forbid! No
    2 years ago reply
  • Shezi

    What's wrong with us? Do we need to see everything with a tainted filter? It's a heart warming advertisement and that's it !!
    2 years ago reply
  • Deepak Srivastava

    On Holi we the hindus play colors not stains... Understood...?
    2 years ago reply
    • Rohit

      So is that the issue....they used the term 'stain'? By the way
      2 years ago reply
      • Anupama k Helavar

        It is such a cute ad where one kid protects the other
        2 years ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp