Starbucks India drew criticism and faced calls for boycotts after releasing a commercial taking place in India that some, particularly on the right, found objectionable. The company has been accused of “going full Bud Light” after its latest promotion featuring parents meeting their transgender daughter at a Starbucks location.
The video depicts a father who struggles to accept the transition but comes to terms with it at the end of the advertisement by ordering his transgender daughter a drink in their new name. Starbucks India tweeted the video with the caption, “Your name defines who you are – whether it’s Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us. #ItStartsWithYourName.”
Starbucks India has faced massive backlash from the advertisement. Political commentator, Rukshan Fernando tweeted, “Starbucks facing a backlash in India after going full Bud Light. If saturating the market with a mediocre US coffee brand wasn’t bad enough, now they are bringing their woke corporate culture to the Sub-Continent.”
One user tweeted in Starbucks India’s comment section, “It is deeply disconcerting to witness the rapid erosion of cultural identity in our current era. Certain liberal forces persistently normalize practices that appear to undermine the very fabric of our cherished traditions and deeply held values. The pace at which this unsettling phenomenon unfolds is cause for genuine alarm. It is NOT a coincidence. It is a deliberate strategy.”
Another user weighed in, “I am a huge starbucks fan Virtually spend thousands of rupees in their coffee shop every year But still i can’t believe why @StarbucksIndia would launch a woke campaign in the name of advertisement? Can’t they just market their coffee and service to India Their service is the best in the world Who designs such campaigns to guilt trip people which don’t appeal/apply to even 0.1 % Indians Perhaps I should my allegiance to Thirdwave coffee which has better coffee and equally good service and interiors like #Starbucks.“
Another person commented, “What are you promoting @Starbucks…Don’t promote such culture…we don’t want any lessons on the acceptance of such immoral values…we are Bharatvasis & we are very proud of our civilization all culture..we aren’t some #BollywoodVultures to Promote such culture Abstain fm such Ads #KaranJohar.”
“I don’t understand why brands do this… these ads alienate huge portions of the population. Whatever happened to common sense advertising? Videos like this alienate more customers than they bring in. Literally throwing advertising dollars in the trash just to virtue signal,” a disgruntled person tweeted.
Watch the ad that infuriated them here:
America has exported woke culture all around the globe, and Starbucks India just provided yet another example of this phenomenon. Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the global hegemon of liberalism, and many other nations have sought to mimic its culture. In modern times, this translates to countries adopting wokeness and woke precepts of morality. However well-meaning those behind the push are, many, both in the US and abroad, are upset with the global homogeneity it is creating.
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