The main characteristics of a viral video usually include humour, connection and controversy. Sometimes you come across some content for which there is no explanation available as to why it became viral. A low budget video advertisement shared on social media containing a repetitive six-word sentence “Low price, good quality, Kakoli Furniture” has become an online sensation in the past month. Netizens are unable to fathom why this advertisement of an unknown furniture store in Bangladesh has become viral in the Bangla speaking communities in Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. Even the owner of the furniture store is baffled.
Amidst the grim news of the second wave of the pandemic in India and the ongoing lockdown in Bangladesh and West Bengal, people are finding some moments of laughter and respite with this viral video.
Abhishek Ghosh from Kolkata, India comments:
#KakoliFurniture seems more of a PANDEMIC right now 🤷🏽♂️
— Abhishek Ghosh (@thefoodgambler) May 18, 2021
What is Kakoli Furniture?
Kakoli is a common name for girls in Bangladesh. The furniture store “Kakoli Furniture” is located in Mawna Union of Sreepur Upazila in Gazipur district, some 60 kilometres outside of the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. SM Sohail Rana, the proprietor of Kakoli Furniture, was thinking of some publicity for his furniture shop and generated the idea for this low budget advertisement after seeing two girls of his customer visiting his shop.
In the video advertisement published first on their Facebook page on April 9, 2021, two girls are seen jumping on sofas and mattresses of the shop or swinging in rocking chairs simultaneously. It is accompanied by a monotonous voiceover of the girls chanting “Low price, good quality, Kakoli Furniture” in Bengali (দামে কম মানে ভালো কাকলি ফার্নিচার!) that repeats from the beginning to the end which can also sound annoying. The girls are seen wearing masks — which shows that they are respecting the guidelines during the pandemic.
Since then, the video has been shared by many on several platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, among others. People are commenting on it, creating memes and sharing it widely. Another video from Kakoli furniture also created widespread interest. Reports estimate that the videos have been shared over five million times already.
Mr Rana told the media that he didn't expect that his video would become viral:
আমি বুঝতেও পারিনি বিজ্ঞাপনটি এভাবে ভাইরাল হবে। আমি শখের বসে কাজটি করেছিলাম। এটি আমার প্রফেশন নয়।
I did not imagine that this advertisement will be viral. I just produced it as a hobby. This is not my profession.
The videos have also been extremely popular in West Bengal, the fourth most populous state in India. Bangladesh has over 160 million Bengali population and India has over 97 million Bengali population and they are united by language and culture but divided by a border.
Md. Soukat Hussain, a Twitter user from West Bengal describes the impact of the Kakoli Furniture videos:
— 𝑴𝒅 𝑺𝒐𝒖𝒌𝒂𝒕 𝑯𝒖𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒊𝒏|মোঃ শওকাত হুসাইন (@Soukat_Hussain_) May 19, 2021
AnandaBazar Patrika, a popular Bengali news daily from West Bengal comments that it seems that the “Kakoli virus” has taken over the internet spaces. Netizens from both countries are using creative memes, using footages from “Mr. Bean“, “The Shining” or music from horror videos. Memes by influencers like actress Ritavari Chakrabarti from West Bengal have been liked by 66,000 followers which boosted the popularity of the video.
Debi from West Bengal tweets:
— Debi (@WhoDebi) May 20, 2021
Subham Sinha from West Bengal asks:
Why people promoting Kakoli furniture at free of cost😑?#KakoliFurniture
— Subham sinha (@i_subhamsinha) May 20, 2021
Farhana Islam from Bangladesh comments on Quora:
কালকে দুপুরে দেখি আমার (বড়) বোন কাকলি ফার্নিচার এর ছড়া কাটছে। [..] আজকে দেখি, পরীক্ষার সময় আমার মাথায় কাকলি ফার্নিচার ঘুরছে।
বিজ্ঞাপনটির কোনো বিশেষত্ব নেই,কিন্তু একবার শুনলে কাকলি ফার্নিচার মাথায় ঘুরতেই থাকবে!
Yesterday my (elder) sister was parroting the Kakoli Furniture jingle. [..] Today, while sitting for an examination, the words were echoing inside my head.
There is nothing special in this advertisement, but if you listen to it once, the (repetitive) words will be playing inside your head.