Starbucks India ad featuring a trans model goes viral with mixed reactions


A new Starbucks India campaign featuring a trans model has caused a stir among social media users around the world.

The two-minute ad, titled «#ItStartsWithYourName,» shows a Hindi-speaking family gathering at a Starbucks to reconcile a father’s strained relationship with his trans daughter. After a brief tenseness, the man shows his acceptance of his daughter by ordering coffees for everyone under his new name, «Arpita.»

“To me, you are still my son,” the father says in the ad, translated into English with subtitles. «Only one letter has been added to his name.»

The ad has been viewed millions of times online since its launch last week, and reactions have run the gamut from praise to staunch opposition. Many South Asians said the description hits home for them and is an important step forward for Indian youth in the LGBTQ community.

“I can’t imagine being separated from my kids for any reason, let alone who they are, but I know they’re not all there yet,” one person said. tweeted. “This ad from Starbucks from India, which is still an incredibly conservative country, sends a powerful statement.”

But some in the US and India criticized Starbucks for «woke», even calling for a boycott of the company.

“Starbucks faces backlash in India after filling up Bud Light,” an Australia-based news podcast host tweeted, referencing the beer brand that recently collaborated with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. “If saturating the market with a mediocre American coffee brand wasn’t bad enough, they are now bringing their woke corporate culture to the subcontinent.”

A Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News that despite the backlash, the company will continue to support the trans community.

“At Starbucks, we unequivocally support the LGBTQIA2+ community,” the representative said. “Our campaign in India, #ItStartsWithYourName, shows how Tata Starbucks is committed to making people of all backgrounds and identities feel welcome… We will continue to use our voice to advocate for greater understanding of the importance of inclusion and diversity in communities. we serve all over the world”, they also said.

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