AU Small Finance Bank’s new 50-second commercial featuring Aamir Khan and Kiara Advani opened floodgates to social media trolling as netizens found it to be way out of line for traditional banking company ads to depict artists in a ‘progressive’ way.
It was eventually removed by the company from all social media handles as #BoycottAUBank and #BoycottAamirKhan began trending on Twitter.
The ad, now retracted, started by showing the newly-wed couple Khan and Advani seated in the back seat of a car which is moving towards Advani’s home in the film since Khan decided to become a stay-at-home son-in-law since the female protagonist’s father is specially-abled.
The ad ran on a very progressive communication line of questioning, as to why one should stick to the age-old societal norms and expectations, followed by Khan questioning the practices prevalent in the banking industry so that one can get the best services and it culminated with the name of the campaign ‘Badlav Humse Hai’.
It is also to be noted here that both Khan and Advani are the brand ambassadors of AU Small Finance Bank.
Post the airing of the new ad film, AU Bank was strongly criticized by some for showcasing a progressive move that doesn’t concern banking as a category, post which the banking company finally decided to take the ad down.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, a filmmaker and author, took to Twitter to express his opinion on the new ad and questioned, “Since when Banks have become responsible for changing social and religious traditions?”
Furthermore, he also highlighted that in his opinion, a better approach for AU Bank would have been to do activism by making a change in the corrupt banking system.
I just fail to understand since when Banks have become responsible for changing social & religious traditions? I think @aubankindia should do activism by changing corrupt banking system.— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) October 10, 2022
Aisi bakwaas karte hain fir kehte hain Hindus are trolling. Idiots.pic.twitter.com/cJsNFgchiY
Commenting on Agnihotri’s tweet, Twitteratis began to bash Khan as well as Sanjay Agarwal for wanting to see a ‘Badlav’ in the ‘Hindu culture’ per se and urged fellow netizens to boycott the banking company and Khan.
AU Bank next time tell your ad agency to make an ad on halala and tell Aamir Khan to wear burkha and hijaab. Lets see then how you survive in India coz you are gonna face the wrath of the other community.#BoycottAUBankIndia #BoycottAUBank #boycottausmallfinancebank https://t.co/2lQwQcYFSm— Sid Phatak (@myselfsidphatak) October 11, 2022
"Boycott their product also boycott au small finance bank.” Very disappointed to note that you have taken an #antinational like #amirkhan as your brand ambassador .We will have no choice but to #boycottausmallfinancebank #AamirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma pic.twitter.com/lcLNQbsSiN— ramya vinay (@Ramyavinayaka) October 12, 2022
#BoycottAUBank #boycottausmallfinancebank @aubankindia for hurting #SanatanDharma sentiments. It’s ill minded sick people who vouch for such disgraceful Advertising of hurting our sentiments. We all should collectively #BoycottbollywoodForever so such things won’t happen.— C B (@Chaitubr) October 10, 2022
@advani_kiara also same responsible for this insult of #HinduDharm and #HinduCulture 😡😡😡 #BoycottAUBank #boycottausmallfinancebank @aubankindia immediately remove this add otherwise you better know to what happen against your bank😡😡😡— Amol (@Amol47497136) October 13, 2022
@aubankindia Aamir is a known Hindu hater and now you have proved that your organization is a Hindu hater too. Shocked at how any org could so openly demean Hindu traditions in the disguise of being a change advocate. #BoycottAUBankIndia #BoycottAUBank #boycottausmallfinancebank— Sickular Comrade (@sickularcomrade) October 11, 2022
Some of the netizens also slammed Agnihotri for tweeting such content just to satisfy his personal grudge against Khan and the entire Muslim community and said that if he wanted to highlight the corruption issue pertinent to the banking companies, he would’ve easily done so without tweeting about the ad.
The Kashmir Files director Vivek Agnihotri slams Aamir Khan & Kiara Advani’s latest AU Bank Ad— Aravinda Baliga (@baliga_2012) October 12, 2022
Suggests Bank to change the corrupt banking system instead of trying to change social & religious traditions#AamirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma pic.twitter.com/eOINmPW1O1
AU Bank could do well by advertising it's services to the majority Hindus rather than change Hindu traditions— Sanatan Prabhat (Kannada) (@Sanatan_Prabhat) October 12, 2022
Hindus demand AU Bank to withdraw this ad
The bank and Aamir Khan should tender a public apology to all Hindus#KiaraAdvani#AmirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma pic.twitter.com/1VG9nsyX37
@vivekagnihotri - Since when have you made the transition from #FilmMaking to #TraditionCustodian.— Capt Shubhendu Kumar Tiger (@Shubhen72614921) October 11, 2022
Focus on your work, one hit wonder, rather than having an opinion on everything, just to stay in limelight.
Tsk Tsk 😜🤪😋 https://t.co/fJ79vBYZNC
However, there was a slew of Twitteratis who urged AU bank to take down the ad from all social media handles and issue an apology for disrespecting the culture.
Here is a demand of Hindus that, AU Bank should immediately remove this ad from all social media platforms, as well as the bank and actors Aamir Khan, Kiara Advani should apologize for disrespecting Hindu tradition...#AamirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma pic.twitter.com/pIPXBGDB2m— Prajakta (@Prajakta3071455) October 12, 2022
#AamirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma— Nataraj (@natarajadvocate) October 12, 2022
The groom takes the first step in their new house as opposed to the tradition of the bride doing so.
Aamir says, “Why should traditions that have continued for centuries continue to do so?.
AU Bank & Aamir Khan should apologize. pic.twitter.com/003A1I0u1U
Hindu tradition is that the bride enters the household first,— 🚩Poorva Pawar (सौ.पूर्वा पवार) (@poorva_pawar) October 12, 2022
Because we Hindu believe that the bride is the form of devi Laxmi.#AamirKhan_Insults_HinduDharma
Who authorised AU Bank to change Hindu traditions ?@aubankindia pic.twitter.com/OmYYrBMmMe
Why is that Sanjay Aggarwal, the owner of AU bank wants to see "badalav" in hindus but not in Islamic rituals?— ख़ास आम आदमी (@khaasaamadmi) October 10, 2022
Why can't India show him some badalav for a change & completely boycott this bank!
However, post the takedown, some netizens also expressed that they felt disappointed with AU Bank for succumbing to social media trolling due to the alleged religious discord.
Yaar yeh harrr baar sentiment hurt kyu ho jaate hain .. ad is on tradition .. and here boy goes to girls house after marriage instead of girl ab ismein “ easily hurt able ” fir hurt ho gaye .. Muslims pic soaked in blood dekh ke tum hurt naa hote https://t.co/14HDJSTBLH pic.twitter.com/946tkMCxL8— ਅਦਨਾਨ ਅਲੀ ਖਾਨ ( عدنان علی خان ) (@AdnanAliKhan555) October 12, 2022
@vivekagnihotri— Vir (@viren2372) October 12, 2022
What's wrong with the ad? I think it is beautifully made & makes a relevant point abt choices .U have 2 come out f d echo chamber of narrowly defined religious norms 2 understand ths.Btw bank is not doing activism. https://t.co/xzVPZeSaKC
Being a director can't u understand creativity? this is just an advertisement there are many son in law's in India who stays at wife's home because of unemployment and many other reasons, will u add a propaganda in their personal life too? https://t.co/0tKlfcjYX4— great_fans_of_aamir (@Great_Aamir_fan) October 12, 2022
Btw aajkal kai sari dulhan haste hue bida hoti hain, aur ghar jamai banne ka culture bhi koi naya nhi hai😄— Himanshi katiyar (@Himanshi_doc) October 12, 2022
There is nothing new in this add, we r already ahead
Hindu religion is willing for change that's why they only use hindu traditions. They cannot do so with others. Ironic! https://t.co/H5APz9xejv