Brands stepped in soon after the news of the devastating earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal and was felt across parts of India broke. Telecom players were amongst the first to respond.
Airtel’s users could call Nepal for free on 25 and 26 April. A statement from the company read, "We are deeply saddened by the severe impact that one of the worst earthquakes in Nepal has had on the lives of its people. As a small gesture during this hour of crisis, we have decided to offer all calls on the Airtel network from India to Nepal completely free of cost for the next 48 hours effective midnight, thus enabling customers across the country get in touch with their families and friends in Nepal."
Vodafone, BSNL, MTS and MTNL were also quick to respond. These service providers allowed users to call Nepal for as low as Re 1 per minute.
Viber stepped in too. A message from the brand on social media read, 'In response to the earthquake in Nepal we have switched off Viber Out billing so Nepal users can call any destination for free'.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) too chipped in. Soon after the Indian Under-14 girls team returned from the country on Sunday (26 April), after the earthquake, the board offered Rs 11 lakh to the Nepal Football Association.
Air India, Indigo and Spicejet stepped in too, as they offered to take relief material for free to Kathmandu. Relief material from India has been airlifted to the neighbouring nation with the help of the army.
Not all brands made a positive impact though.
Social media agency Troika Consulting, embarrassed itself on social media. The agency put out a post which read thus: 'If you were busy updating your status as you evacuated the building, we might have a job for you in our social media team'. This was soon deleted.
e-Commerce player Lenskart, which was recently in the news for positive reasons for its ‘Eye for an Eye’ campaign, sent out a text message asking people to 'shake it off’ and shop for ‘Vincent Chase Sunglasses’. The brand was trending soon on social media and an apology was offered soon after.
Fashion apparel brand American Swan too sent out a promotional message, with an ‘earth shattering’ offer. The unforgiving social media audience ensured that an apology was tendered shortly.
We're certain to see more responses from brands to the Nepal tragedy. If you find a brand doing something that deserves to be applauded, let us know.