Recently, comedians Tanmay Bhat and Samay Raina appeared in an advertisement for Kotak811, a partially autonomous digital bank by Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited. The #SamayKoSahiKaamPeLagao campaign utilised some brilliant puns and the comedic timings of Bhat and Raina to illustrate how Kotak811 allows you to make the most of your time (or “Samay”).
Kotak rushed to take down the ad and remove the video from the internet shortly after it was launched. The advertisement itself wasn’t controversial, but it was Bhat’s earlier tweets that caused the brand problems. The comedian made fun of Lord Ganesha in old tweets from 2013 that were dug out by internet users.
Furious internet users targeted the company, questioning their affiliation with Bhat, who they claimed was “promoting hatred for Hindu Gods,” and demanded to know why they supported him. They even compelled Kotak to remove the advertisement.
The bank was outspoken about its position and even began to respond to some of the tweets, but in the end, it had to give in to the irate public and pull the campaign.
Digital traces from the past, such as Bhat’s previous tweets, constitute evidence. With the advancement of technology, it is now incredibly simple to find anything, even after it has been destroyed. In order to avoid the threat of a boycott, corporations will soon be forced to scrutinise the individuals they associate with and check any prior run-ins with Twitter mobs.