At this point, it looks increasingly likely that Tanishq’s advertising team has been infiltrated by a rival jeweler, and is covertly producing content to destroy a brand that had taken decades to build.
After its recent love jihad ad, which had become one of the most panned ad campaigns in recent memory, Tanishq has come out with a new campaign that urges Hindus to not burst crackers on Diwali. In its latest ad, uploaded three days ago on Twitter, a host of women, all decked heavily in jewelry, tell people how they’ll celebrate Diwali. What caught the attention of the internet was a woman who smiles into the camera and sanctimoniously says, “Definitely no firecrackers. I don’t think anyone should light firecrackers,” she continues, still beaming.
It would seem remarkable that a brand would tell people how to celebrate their own festival while simultaneously attempting to piggyback their sales off it — no brand ever tells Christians to not put up Christmas trees because they’re bad for the environment, or tells Muslims to not sacrifice goats on Id because it promotes barbaric animal cruelty. But Tanishq clearly feels that Hindus are fair game to be preached to, and made to feel guilty about a millennia-old practice. Hindus, though, were in no mood to take the propaganda lying down.
“You definitely need to fire your PR and marketing team. Where are the Diyas in this advertisement? Please stop spreading gyan. Do you have guts to ask not to slaughter animals on a particular festival?” wrote a Twitter user.
Another user pointed out that the supposed Diwali ad showed no Diwali traditions at all. “A Diwali ad without a trace of Lakshmi pujan, aarti, rangoli, diyas, mithai, food, kids, men of the hosue, gajra, flower decorations, sindoor, bangles ..but then dump moral gyan as how to celebrate even if it’s against FoE #boycotttanishq zero vibes of diwali,” wrote another user.
Some felt that Tanishq was trolling its customer base. “Anyone who has any doubts with their intent is an active #Hinduphobic. The audacity to troll their customer base during the prime sale period is telling. #boycotttanishq,” wrote a Twitter user.
Others wondered what gave Tanishq the moral right to preach on Diwali. “Who has given you right to tell the people of India that what should they do on Diwali and what should not??” wrote a user.
Other people said that they’d never buy a Tanshiq product again. “I’m never gonna buy a Tanishq product after this. Let them repent for continuing to give gyaan on our festivals,” wrote a user.
Soon enough, BoycottTansishq was trending on Twitter. It would’ve been a sense of deja vu for Tanshiq — boycott Tanshiq had also trended after Tanshiq had released an ad showing a Muslim family celebrating their Hindu bride’s traditions during a baby shower, remaining completely oblivious to the number of Hindu brides that have been forced to convert or been killed after being married into Muslim households. The backlash had been such that Titan’s stock had fallen 2.5 percent the day after the trend, and the company had lost Rs. 2,700 crore of market value overnight.
This latest advertisement is just as insidious, and perhaps even more tone deaf. While numerous studies show that the effect of Diwali on pollution is negligible, brands seem to keep trying to earn woke brownie points for urging people to give up a cherished tradition. What was even more grating in the new Tanishq ad was the gaudy display of jewelry that was being hawked — the ad simultaneously spoke of Covid, but instead of asking people to use their money to help out the poor and the needy, urged them to buy Tanshiq jewelry instead. Tanishq’s wokeness extended enough to tell people to not burst crackers, but not quite enough to tell people to not wastefully buy jewelry, and put their money to better use. The faux-niceness, combined with the preaching about not bursting crackers, means that Tanishq’s marketing team has now earned the remarkable feat of putting out two advertisements in a month that have lost the brand more customers than they have gained, and ensured that the once-proud Tata name is about to be dragged through the mud all over again.