Post Diwali, SoftBank-backed Snapdeal, the online marketplace is running a campaign #MySnapdealReviewsMatter. Endorsed by well-known actor both in Bolllywood and in the southern belt of our country Madhavan, Snapdeal is asking fans to write genuine reviews of their purchases and in return get goodies from Snapdeal.
A great effort at a time when eCommerce platforms are filled with fake and paid reviews:
— Snapdeal (@snapdeal) November 24, 2015
However, #MySnapdealReviewsMatter isn’t trending but #BootOutSnapdeal is. It’s been trending since the morning at the top of Twitter India trends. The new hashtag dominating the trends is slowly destroying the online brand after we saw trends like #AppWapsi and #NoToSnapDeal doing it yesterday.
If you are not aware then here is the reason why Snapdeal is facing the music from angry Indians – Aamir Khan, popular Bollywood celebrity and also the brand ambassador of Snapdeal voiced deep concern about the state of religious intolerance in India.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Indian Express newspaper in New Delhi, Aamir joined the growing debate over rising intolerance in India, saying that his wife Kiran Rao had asked if they should move out of the country as she feared for the safety of their children in a climate of insecurity. “When I sit at home and talk to Kiran (his wife), and Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India, and for the first time Kiran says, should we move out of India, that is a disastrous and a very big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child, she feels scared to open the newspapers every day,” said Aamir as quoted by Business Standard.
The event ended, Aamir went to bed only to find the next morning that his statements have been partly twisted by media. This angered a lot of Indians who armed with the power of social media, labeled Aamir as a traitor and a celebrity who uses opportunities for promoting his movies.
Ignoring the context of his statement, people on social media lashed at the celebrity and his family for finding India ‘intolerant’. #AamirKhan was trending all day on Twitter as well as Facebook; it also became a prime time debate between the tolerant and intolerant India.
As the day wore on, the anger and online backlash continued to rise. The immediate target after Aamir Khan was Snapdeal and since the brand is an online company, fans found an easy target. From threatening to uninstall the app, users moved to the Google Play Store to demote the apps rating. In no time Sanpdeal’s app rating came down from 5 and right now stands at 4.1. The demand was simple – “Snapdeal remove Aamir the brand ambassador.” Taking it further today, angry fans are trending hashtag #BootOutSnapdeal that intensifies online protest further.
Snapdeal has finally responded with a company statement after a day. The company states that it clearly ‘does not endorse Aamir comments’ and will continue their business ‘built by passionate young Indians.’
“Snapdeal is neither connected nor plays a role in comments made by Aamir Khan in his personal capacity. Snapdeal is a proud Indian company built by passionate young Indians focused on building an inclusive digital India. Everyday we are positively impacting thousands of small businesses and millions of consumers in India. We will continue towards our mission of creating one million successful online entrepreneurs in India.”
From sharing the brand’s perspective on social media channels, Snapdeal right now is in a fire-fighting mode using #SnapdealForIndia. It has got its CEO, band of fans and influencers to build buzz for the hashtag and keep retweeting every positive tweet. The hashtag is already trending on Twitter. Nice comeback for a brand that is facing the heat for no fault of its own.
— Priya Sharma (@priyasharma4211) November 25, 2015
Snapdeal’s stand has also found a surprise supporter in its competitor Flipkart. Earlier in the day CEO Sachin Bansal tweeted in favour of Snapdeal.
But the fact is that there isn’t a personal or professional presence on social media for a celebrity. Snapdeal became an easy target, however, since it had endorsed Aamir earlier this year for a whopping price to reposition its brand vision with ‘Dil Ki Deal’ while competing with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. Reports have said that Aamir could have charged up to Rs.20 crore for endorsements.
Snapdeal here is simply the unlucky one and is also paying the price for being an internet company. While it has distanced itself from Aamir’s comments, things are not going to die so soon. #SnapdealForIndia might be the right trick in the book for the brand to be back in its past avatar.