Creative agency CHE Proximity is the latest to feel the wrath of a Hindu group that calls out companies and brands it believes commercially exploits and insults the world’s 1.1 billion Hindus.
Last week, IKEA Australia – via its creative agency CHEP –a seven
CHEP declined B&T’s opportunity to comment on this story.
Check out the offending spot below:
However, the spot quickly caught the eye (or ire) of the Universal Society of Hinduism, a US-based group dedicated to haranguing brands it believes misuses images and themes from the religion.
As regular B&T readers would know, we often report on the regular complaints from the group.
The group’s spokesperson, Rajan Zed, said in a statement that the IKEA video unnecessarily and unreasonably trivialised the ancient and serious discipline of yoga, which was highly inappropriate.
Moreover, comparing a yoga-asana with a Martini glass for mercantile greed was quite out-of-line, Zed said.
Zed added that the inappropriate usage of Hindu concepts or practices or traditions for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Home furnishing companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation and mocking serious spiritual practices, he added.
“This campaign video of IKEA Australia asks the viewer to ‘follow Eve as she takes you through product pose yoga by IKEA’ where she displays 15 yoga-asanas associating each with an IKEA product, like ‘barbecue tongs’; with a background voice talking about ‘to quieten the internal fire we have awakene’; ending in Namaste with folded hands,” Zed said.
“Yoga is considered union with God, one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy, and mean for transforming consciousness and purification of the Self and attaining liberation,” he added.
Zed also urged Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Inter IKEA Group CEO Torbjörn Lööf to offer a formal apology and be serious about the IKEA vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people”.