The well-known Indian jewelry brand Tanishq is surrounded by a controversy after an advertisement received backlash for allegedly promoting fake secularism and love jihad.
Tanishq, a well-known jewelry brand in India, and a division of the Titan Company, owned by the Tata Group has recently been at the center of an advertisement controversy following vicious trolling on social media and #BoycottTanishq trending on Twitter. The 45-second advertisement video was later pulled off air by Tanishq.
Following the ruckus over social media, the jewelry brand released a statement, and said that had withdrawn the advertisement, "Keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well-being of our employees, partners and store staff."
What is the controversy all about?
Ahead of the festive season in the country, Tanishq company released an advertisement featuring a baby shower organised by a Muslim family for their Hindu daughter-in-law. The advertisement portraying interfaith ceremony was targeted by a section of people on social media who called it out to be promoting love jihad. The 45-second advertisement was created to promote the new jewelry line called 'Ekatvam'.
However, the concept and execution of the advertisement received all kinds of reactions from the people. Whereas some opined that the company should have been careful with promoting such sensitive content, on the other hand, some supported the message depicted in the advertisement and said that the company should have stood its ground.
The advertisement received severe backlash on Twitter and other social media platforms on the grounds that it allegedly promoted 'fake secularism' and 'love jihad' ( a term used by some people to describe interfaith relationships). Some brand experts also encouraged the company by saying that Tanishq had done some bold job.
Towards the end of the video, the pregnant woman asks her mother-in-law that organising a baby shower ceremony is not a part of their culture. "Isn't it a tradition for every home to keep their daughters happy?" the mother-in-law replied.
Tanishq spokesperson reacting to the uproar over social media said that "The idea behind the Ekatvam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective."
Amid the criticism, Titan Company Ltd shares fell by 2.18% or Rs, 27.35 per share on the BSE, to close at Rs 1,229.75 per share.
Tanishq Advertisement Campaigns
In the year 2018, Tanishq launched the #Womenof Gold advertisement campaign which was conceptualised by Lowe Lintas Agency. The advertisement film tells the story of a woman who breaks stereotypes and societal norms. The woman despite being the CEO of a successful company decides to follow her heart and change the course of her life by joining college. She restarts her life and starts learning film making along with teenagers in the college.
Tanishq's 'Dua Ka Sona' campaign
This campaign was launched in 2019 in order to take sincere and proactive measures to support and uplift the lives of its Karigars (workers) and to build an environment-friendly system. Through these campaigns, Tanishq brand highlighted its duty towards society by presenting such path-breaking ideas and the sense of giving back to society.
The Remarriage Advertisement
Tanishq and Lowe Lintas' have collaborated multiple times and resulted in some amazing work over the years. In 2013, The Remarriage Ad was also the most talked-about among the Brands. According to Tanishq, the central idea of the campaign was to highlight the conversation around gender bias, gender inequality, and bashing orthodox norms of the society.
Such advertisements help in breaking the social stigma around the second marriage and the brand has taken a strong step towards normalizing second marriage. Brand experts also said that the Remarriage Advertisement was a path breaker in the advertising narrative of Tanishq.
Tanishq Rakshabandhan Campaign
Tanishq had also come up with a fresh perspective on the festival of Raksha Bandhan in the year 2016. Tanishq's Rakshabandhan campaign celebrated the bond between sisters and did not restrict itself to celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters. The ad film saw strong traction with 20,000 shares on Facebook.
Another advertisement that represented the brand's USP was when a father urges his daughter to get married and the girl refuses to do so. However, after entering the Tanishq showroom, the girl was mesmerized by the jewelry designs. Over the years, Tanishq has also entangled its customers through regional emotions and highlighting India's diversity by showing the festivals and weddings of different regions and cultures in India.
The Tanishq group launched the sub-brand called Mia in 2011 for working women with the insight that 40% of the Indian women are working. Tanishq has been weaving path-breaking stories and communication under the sub-brand since.
Speaking of path-breaking advertisements, Tanishq had also risen to the occasion of supporting the LGBTQ community after the Supreme Court of India recriminalised homosexuality in 2013. Tanishq created advertisements supporting the community by saying: "Two of a kind always make a beautiful pair."
Popular celebrities from Karishma Kapoor to Diya Mirza, Deepika Padukone, Asin, Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bachchan, Sridevi to Tisca Chopra and Neena Gupta, Tanishq have advertised for Tanishq.
On the 20th anniversary of Tanishq in 2017, the brand invited people to share their most memorable moments with the brand. With the help of influencers, Tanishq further asked people to share their Tanishq story using the hashtag #20YearsOfTanishq.
Thus, Tanishq had always tried to incorporate societal subjects and used the advertising strategies to give back to the society. However, there are times when the advertisement campaigns are surrounded by controversies and are well capable of bouncing back.