Aimed at promoting communal harmony, the ad showed a young girl riding a cycle during Holi, daring kids to toss colour at her until it runs out. Only when the 'coast was clear,' did she beckon a younger boy dressed in white pyjamas and a skullcap to come out and give him a ride till the mosque for namaaz.
"Why are only Hindus targeted in ads?" questioned Twitterati who were critical of the detergent ad. Although, there were many who supported the controversy-ridden commercial.
Here is the picture, you need to check before buying anything... #BoycottSurfExcel @HUL_News Leave Hindus alone. Make ads on other religions because WE are not interested in your products. pic.twitter.com/3TxWoFux4e
— niketsharma (@niketsharmaa) March 9, 2019
Surf Excel India#boycottSurfExcel#अजातशत्रु pic.twitter.com/gMY5gfxcEc
— सूर्यवंशी ठाकुर (@OO788987161) March 9, 2019
However, one Android user decided to voice his opinion to let the bosses at Surf Excel know that he was not happy with their ad. So he took to Google Play and left a review on the app urging others to Boycott the detergent.
The only problem?
He mistakenly chose the wrong app and landed on Microsoft Excel's Google Play app. Unaware of this, he promptly gave Ms Excel a 1-star rating and wrote, "Boykot sarf excel. hindu birodh hai. pakisthan me ja kar business kar. (sic) [Boycott Surf Excel, it is against the Hindus. Go to Pakistan and do business]."
The unfortunate review first appeared on @chhuti_is's Twitter timeline.
— Aparna (@chhuti_is) March 11, 2019
Another user review left on Ms Excel's app was shared by Twitter user @beastoftraal.
I think they got lost online a bit. pic.twitter.com/zo5AqSxb5J
— Karthik (@beastoftraal) March 11, 2019
Twitter collectively facepalmed and couldn't wrap its head around the goof-up.
I have not laughed this hard in a long time.
— Dhiraj Kumar (@KjdSingh) March 12, 2019
Shit happens and we need #surfExcel. https://t.co/k14NICbB70
— Sumit Thapa (@mrSumitThapa) March 12, 2019
This is beyond human cognition. https://t.co/09bjT6UPDz
— pablo isko maar (@zormii) March 11, 2019
Why's this cracking me up? https://t.co/ABvubWJtUr
— Sree Ganesh Balaji (@SreeG_) March 12, 2019
I was actually thinking of this earlier today. And now it’s happened!
— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) March 11, 2019
— DivyaSree Padupalli (@DP_DivyaSree) March 11, 2019
— Pranjal Dube (@pranjaldube) March 11, 2019
But are the screenshots fake? A quick search on MS Excel's Google Play app reveals that the two reviews actually exist.
Strangely enough, this isn't the first time such an incident has occured in India.
Back in 2017, Indian eCommerce giant Snapdeal faced the wrath amid the Snapchat controversy, when Indians confused Snapdeal with Snapchat and uninstalled the application with hateful comments on Play Store and App Store.
Snapchat faced a country-wide boycott when Founding CEO Evan Speigel announced that he had no intentions of expanding services to poor countries like India and Spain.
Meanwhile, here's the Surf Excel ad that has caused an uproar on social media.