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A social-media campaign against a brand of washing powder in India has raised eyebrows by taking an accidental sideswipe at a Microsoft app.

The advert for Surf Excel uses the upcoming Hindu spring festival of Holi to illustrate a story about cross-communal harmony, India's reports.

The shows a girl on a bicycle enjoying the popular Holi practice of being pelted with balloons full of coloured paint and water, then taking a small boy dressed in pristine white Muslim clothes to prayers at his mosque before promising to play Holi games with him afterwards.

The ad received more than ten million views and 100,000 "likes" on YouTube, but angered some viewers.

Critics of the advert have organised complaints against Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), who make Surf Excel, accusing its Colours Unite (Rang laaye sang) advert of being "anti-Hindu" and "anti-national".

They have posted pictures of used HUL products like flattened toothpaste tubes along with the hashtags #BoycottSurfExcel and #BoycottHindustanUnilever.

But some of their followers have confused the washing powder with Microsoft Excel, giving the mobile spreadsheet app single-star ratings on the Google Play Store - much to the amusement of other social-media users.

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"I have in a long time," tweeted software engineer Dhiraj Kumar, as he and others came across the Google Play reviews.

"Twitter collectively facepalmed," was how characterised the choice selection of mockery and incredulity that it showcased on its website.

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