Advertising in India, challenging societal attitude towards homosexuality

image courtesy-

By NewsGram Staff Writer

As India is still ailing with strong prejudices against homosexuality, the brand Anouk has recently come up with an advertisement, featuring a lesbian couple. The ad challenges the prejudiced Indian society, which obliges all men and women to have relationship with members of the opposite sex.

The Anouk ad, is titled as ‘The Visit’ and is a part of the brand’s ‘Bold is Beautiful’ series.  It shows the anxiety of a lesbian couple before meeting the parents of one of the partners.

The ad gives a strong message of coming to terms with one’s identity and embracing it, despite the shackles of regressive societal norms.

“We tried to avoid the stereotypes associated with gay people. There was no one woman looking more masculine or feminine in the film. We tried to give it a candid feel like it is any other couple being apprehensive about meeting the parents,” says Avishek Ghosh, co-partner of Hectic Content, the production house that made the film, told Times of India.

The ad has gone viral and might influence the Indian society to finally acknowledge gay couples in the mainstream media.

In a society where homosexuality is criminalized, the gay couples don’t really get to be part of the mainstream media especially in commercial advertisements. There has never been ample depiction or support to the LGBT rights in Indian commercials.

Ads supporting LGBT community in the past

However in December 2013, when the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexuality and ruled that gay sex was illegal, the commercial world showed their support to the LGBT community. They came up with innovative advertisements, which were widely appreciated.

Here are some of them:

The Amul girl was seen giving farewell to the ‘Freedom of Choice’.

freedom of choice
image cortesy-








Earlier in 2009, Amul celebrated the decriminalization of gay sex by Delhi High Court through this ad:

out of closet
image courtesy-

In 2011, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Health Minister at that time, had described homosexuality as a disease. Once again Amul, which never deters from commenting on social issues, came up with this ad:

health minster

Tanishq showed its support to gay rights through this ad:

image courtesy-

Fastrack took the phrase ‘coming out of closet’ too literally and showed in its ad, two women stumbling out of a pink cupboard, zipping pants and skirts and walking off in opposite directions.

download (6)
image courtesy-

The ad was a part of Fastrack’s ‘Move On’ campaign.

move on
image courtesy-

Usually in India the commercial brands cringe away from even mentioning this sensitive issue, lest they get entrapped into some controversy.

It’s really appreciative that the big brands these days are blazing the trail to pinpoint the issue of homosexuality. Earlier hardly any commercials committed themselves to the LGBT community.

It’s essential that the advertisements voicing the issue of homosexuality, without stirring any controversy, should pave a way for the often ‘shunned’ homosexual community, into the popular culture.