Zomato advertisements featuring Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are well-intentioned and have been misinterpreted by people, the company said on August 30 after facing massive criticism from the industry for hiring highly paid actors at a time when the delivery executives are complaining about low incomes.
"These ads were conceptualised six months ago (long before any social media chatter around gig worker payout/working conditions) and were shot two months ago," the company said on Twitter.
According to Zomato, the aim behind the ad was to, "make delivery partners hero of the ad and reiterate that every customer was a star for us and no less than Hrithik or Katrina."
The campaign titled ‘Har customer hai star’ which was released earlier this month, has Roshan call the delivery agent ‘Jadoo’ (an alien character from his film ‘Koi Mil Gaya’). He is seen asking the delivery agent for a selfie for magically delivering the order on time despite heavy rains. Alas, another order comes up and the agent has to rush back sans a selfie with the celebrity.
A similar story plays out in the second film featuring actor Kaif. Only in this one, the delivery agent has no time to have a piece of birthday cake that Kaif offers him.
The ads sparked some outrage online as users pointed out that Zomato seems to be masking over real issues with this ode to its delivery agents.Zomato also said that it was working on the issues surrounding delivery partners claiming that its net promoter score had increased from 10 to 28.