'Kachra' ad: Aditya Lakhia says Zomato's 'positive campaign' backfired
Two decades ago, Aditya Lakhia received praise for playing Kachra in Ashutosh Gowarikar's 2001 film Lagaan. He reprised the character for Zomato's controversial Kachra advertisement which was released on World Environment Day. But instead of praise, he received criticism. Lakhia opened up for the first time, ever since the controversy, on how an anti-plastic and pro-recycle "positive campaign" backfired for the makers, receiving flak.
What was the concept of the ad?
The ad aimed at showing how waste or kachra (in Hindi), including plastic waste, can be recycled and reused for different purposes. While Lagaan used Kachra's character to talk about casteism positively, the same character (and actor) failed to have a similar impact here. Rather, it backfired with many believing that it was derogatory toward the Dalits. Zomato also apologized for it.
Lakhia will think twice before doing ads as 'Kachra'
The commercial faced so much backlash from the viewers that Zomato eventually had to pull it down from all platforms. Speaking about it, Lakhia said that he'll think twice before signing a project that depicts him as Kachra. While talking to News18, he further said that though he didn't anticipate the backlash, advertisers should feature him as himself, not Kachra.
The commercial wasn't for money, said Lakhia
Lakhia explained that the team looked at the commercial as anti-plastic where Kachra promoted the recycling of garbage. "We tried to do something positive and it just took another turn which we didn't know it would," the Shootout at Lokhandwala actor said adding that the commercial wasn't for money. Rather the makers thought it was "a positive campaign" which "obviously backfired."
Lakhia is ready to apologize
"It would be okay if Kachra promotes a soft drink but it is not okay if Kachra says no to plastic. There is a thin line," Lakhia said. He further added: "I would also say that if it has hurt a section of people and if an apology is required then I'll give it. As an actor, what can I say."Share this timeline