The two ads released by Zomato work on a similar premise. In one of them, a Zomato delivery partner is stunned when he rings the doorbell to deliver an order and comes face to face with Hrithik Roshan. The Bollywood star asks him to wait for a selfie, which the delivery partner is more than happy to do – until his phone rings, notifying him of another order to be delivered. The Zomato delivery partner happily forgoes his chance for a selfie with Hrithik Roshan to deliver the order because “Hrithik Roshan ho ya aap, apne liye har customer hai star (Because whether it’s you or Hrithik Roshan, every customer is a star for Zomato).”
The Katrina ad plays out along similar lines – except this time, the actress asks the Zomato delivery partner to wait for a piece of birthday cake, which he has to forgo because, once again, his phone pings with a notification for another food order to be delivered.
The ads were slammed on social media for being tone-deaf in a day and age where the unfair treatment of gig workers has come under increased scrutiny. On Twitter, several people pointed out that the adverts did nothing more than suggest that Zomato delivery partners do not have a minute to rest in between delivering orders, while others said the company would rather spend money on celebrity ads than pay their delivery partners fair wages.
Responding to the criticism, Zomato said the ads were conceptualised six months ago, which was “long before any social media chatter around gig worker payouts/ working conditions.”
The other side of the story… pic.twitter.com/hNRj6TpK1X
— zomato (@zomato) August 30, 2021