Food delivery platform Zomato’s latest advertising campaign, featuring Bollywood actors, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, came under scrutiny on social media. People pointed out that the commercials are ‘tone deaf’ especially when the poor working conditions of the food delivery staff have come to the fore. Some have also highlighted how the food aggregator has money to spend on the celebrities, but not to pay their delivery staff. Now, Zomato has released a statement clarifying their intentions behind the ads.
The two ads which have drawn criticism have Hrithik and Katrina expressing their gratitude to the delivery executives as they work hard to deliver food to the doorstep of the customers in time. While one has Hrithik offering a selfie to the delivery person, the other has Katrina offering her birthday cake to him. But, in both the commercials, the delivery man leaves as he has to deliver the next order in time. The campaign is named, ‘Har Customer Hai Star.’ “These ads were conceptualized 6 months ago (long before any social media chatter around gig worker payouts/working conditions), and were shot 2 months ago,” read Zomato’s statement on Twitter.
It further mentioned the ‘goals’ of the advertisements which were to “make delivery partners the hero of the ad, highlight that we should talk respectfully to delivery partners, raise the level of dignity associated with a delivery partner’s job, demonstrate the pride which most of our delivery partners serve our customers with and reiterate that every customer is a star for us and no less than Hrithik or Katrina.”
Zomato also clarified that the ads were ‘well-intentioned’ but they got misinterpreted by some people. It also acknowledged the issues of meager pay, lack of incentives, and life security and said that it is working towards making things better for its delivery personnel. However, it still is facing the flak of social media users. Users have even gone on to extent of saying that rather than giving explanations do something productive. Hrithik Roshan has been out of the scene for a while and his comeback with a new commercial hasn’t gone well with the audience. Zomato’s IPO came last month and gave investors good returns but the ad has certainly decreased its brand value a bit. The valuation of Zomato stands at 1 lakh crores as of Wednesday.
Zomato issued a statement after its ads featuring Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan were criticized. In the statement, Zomato addressed the issues raised by the viewers of the advertisements. They clarified the matter with the statement that Zomato treats every customer like a star, not just Hrithik or Katrina. The ads have gone viral and it has worked in favor of Zomato as they trended on YouTube for more than 3 days. Zomato is known for not diverting or shrinking and with increasing food delivery demand, Zomato is one of the top players in the country as of now.