Well, here we are again with some nonsensical advertisement by a renowned company!
Food delivery platform foodpanda landed into hot water for not featuring any Indian talents in its Bollywood-themed advertisement ahead of Deepavali celebrations.
Since the video went viral on social media platforms, it has sparked indignation among Malaysian netizens, and the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And to our surprise the 30-second video advertisement were represented by popular celebrities who are Malay and Chinese among them being Adiba Noor and Nadia Aquila.
Former R.AGE STAR freelance Multimedia Journalist & Producer, Vaneesha Krish and some other netizens have taken to their respective social media platforms to claim that the video is a form of cultural appropriation.
@foodpanda_my this is appalling.
An Indian-themed commercial featuring our culture, yet not a single Indian person in sight? So tired of how local brands and the media continue to appropriate from marginalized communities yet ERASE us from mainstream content. pic.twitter.com/W3H25BzFDo
— Neesha 🏴✊🏽 (@VaneeshaKrish) October 4, 2021
Wow the absurdity and injustice of this all, and no one batted an eye lid. Would having a full indian cast for another festival be acceptable food panda? Uninstalling Foodpanda.
— Sumi Krish (@Smitach2) October 5, 2021
Absolutely appalled that someone who was in a decision making position ran with this concept and casting choice. Do better!
— Geetha (@Geetha_U2B) October 5, 2021
Beginning to think that this is a deliberate tactic by Foodpanda to cause controversy, because who in the right mind would do this?
— JJ Wong ☸️🏴 (@RockstarJay94) October 6, 2021
According to foodpanda’s press release, the company has stated that the recent Bollywood-inspired YouTube video that has been circulating online is not a Deepavali ad, but rather part of a larger campaign that will be launched soon. Netizens chastised the company for producing a Bollywood-inspired ad ahead of Deepavali but had miserably failed to include any Indian talent and for appropriating Indian culture. The video in question was part of foodpanda’s newest #TakkanTakTahu promotion, which shows customers how to obtain discounts and it was one of the teasers for the ‘Delivery Ke Hati Seri minisodes’ with a much broader plot.
“The musical inspirations include Barbershop Quartet on our loyalty programme, K-Pop rapping about stacking discounts with promo codes, and Bollywood on group ordering and many more.” Vanita Menon Kris, foodpanda’s Head of Marketing.
Watch the full advertisement here:
Since then, Vanita has subsequently apologised for the split caused by the ideas which were implemented in producing such a video.
“We understand that there might have been a misunderstanding with the video in question being singled out. However, this specific video is part of a bigger campaign and not a Deepavali ad. foodpanda would like to humbly apologise, as it was never our intention to cause any discomfort to our consumers as we stay committed to delivering joy to your doorstep,” said Vanita.