Wednesday October 18, 2017

Advertising in India, challenging societal attitude towards homosexuality

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image courtesy- india.com

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- huffingpost.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

out of closet
image courtesy- deccanchronicle.com

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:

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image courtesy- dnaindia.com

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.

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image courtesy- elle.in

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

move on
image courtesy- firstpost.com

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.

 

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Amul Acts Cheeky on Nitish Kumar’s ‘Divorce’ With Lalu Prasad Yadav

Amul's witty take on the heightened political drama in Bihar received a thumbs up from netizens

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Amul ad on Bihar political drama.
Amul has won hearts again with it's witty take on Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav's rife. Twitter
  • Heightened political drama in Bihar leaves everybody baffled
  • Nitish Kumar breaks up from the Congress-RJD-JDU Mahagatbandhan
  • Amul takes a witty dig at the Bihar episode

July 30, 2017: In an exciting turn of events, the government in Bihar changed from a coalition between Congress,  Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) to one between JD(U) and NDA, all within 24 hours. And Amul’s take on the entire scene is not to be missed!

Following his resignation from the post of Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar went on to take oath as the CM again the next morning, with NDA’s support.

Nitish says he quit over corruption charges on deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, which RJD and Congress termed as “back-stabbing” and “opportunism”.

Kumar had a long association with NDA previously but had parted ways immediately after Narendra Modi was announced as their prime ministerial candidate.

With the news of the breaking up of the Mahagatbandhan spread, the world social media came alive. Some talked about the hilarious ‘divorce’ of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, while others acknowledged the blossoming bromance between Modi and Kumar. The social media was abuzz with opinions on the matter, and speculation over the next move. The entire drama was very amusing and to understand it better, one should look no further than Twitter-pictures, tweets, and memes flooded Twitter. But perhaps, Amul’s take on the new rife about the ongoing Bihar episode summed it all perfectly.

Continuing with its legacy to take a witty and unabashed take in contemporary and political issues, the brand released its cartoon featuring the two ministers.

The cartoon shows CM Nitish Kumar waving goodbye to Prasad who is seen trying to adjust the flame of his dimming lantern. Also not to be missed is the lotus in Kumar’s hand. The caption aptly reads “Jat maṅgni, Paṭna byaah” which has received applause from readers and netizens alike.

The Amul Butter ad featuring the Amul girl has been a constant on billboards and in newspapers. Featuring cleverly thought out puns on current events of the day, they are witty, unapologetic and get away with almost everything that a common man wants to say without seeking controversy!

This is not the first time when Amul political cartoons amused the viewers

 

And certainly not the first time when Bihar and its troubled tales have been picked by Amul

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

 


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Indian Companies Patanjali, Reliance Jio Among The Top 10 Influential Brands in India

Patanjali bagged the fourth position while and Mukesh Ambani’s controlled Reliance Jio has bagged the ninth position

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Patanjali
Bhai Sunder Panchal with Baba Ramde. Wikimedia

July 15, 2017: According to a study by the global research firm Ipsos, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev promoted Patanjali Ayurveda was featured among the top 10 most influential brand in India coupled with Samsung and new player Reliance Jio. Google tops the list followed by Microsoft and Facebook, ranked at number two and three respectively.

Patanjali bagged the fourth position while Mukesh Ambani’s controlled Reliance Jio has bagged the ninth position, as mentioned in the reports of the most influential brands by Ipsos. The entry of both the Indian firms is certainly grand as they did not appear in the previous editions of the study.

The Ipsos study evaluates over 100 brands across 21 countries and covered more than 1,000 Indians online to assess over 100 brands. The study also included 36,600 interviews.

The study included the biggest, most popular and highest spending brands.

Also Read: Patanjali targets will reach 1 Lakh Crore Production by 2020, says Yoga guru turned businessman Baba Ramdev 

 Ipsos Public Affairs and Loyalty Executive Director Parijat Chakraborty said, “The Most Influential Brands are larger than life. They enhance our lives, make it better. We connect with them emotionally and cannot imagine our lives without them — they are influential.”

State Bank of India (SBI) being the only financial institution that made the list, scaled up four ranks to take the fifth position.

E-commerce player Flipkart fell three steps below to take the tenth place whereas Amazon climbed several steps higher to take the sixth place, the study stated. Apart from that, Samsung was ranked 7th while Airtel took the 8th position in the list.

Interestingly, all brands that have featured in the list are those that consumer engages with on a daily basis, the study said as reported by PTI.

Brands like Snapdeal, Apple, Dettol, Cadbury, SONY, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Good day and Amul bagged the place in the list from 11 to 20.

The brands were rated by the consumers on quality, experience and value. Other noteworthy factors include big marketing spend and consciously work towards increasing their brand equity.

-Prepared by Staff Writer at Newsgram.

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Gay Men Dating in Cartoons Banned in Kenya: Is India Standing on the same Pedestal?

Kenya Takes Up Step to Stop Exposure of Homosexuality in Children

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The Loud House Cartoon
The Loud House Cartoon is banned in Kenya.
  • Kenya bans some cartoon shows airing on Nickelodeon as they were flagged to be disturbing content glorifying homosexual behavior
  • The Loud House (only one episode of two gay men dating each other), The Legend of Korra and Hey Arnold were some of the banned shows
  • Exekiel Mutua said, “Adults can choose to become homosexuals and exercise their rights on sexual orientation and relationships, but not so with children”

June 22, 2017:

After millenniums of being into existence, we still have our reservations from homosexuality. Even though its explanation in the ancient times, we still refrain from conversations with gay men dating others. A person’s sexuality is a matter of his own choice and the sole owner of this field is the person itself but the world can’t digest the fact of exposing people towards other people. What we need to remember is denying their existence means crippling your thoughts!

The exposure of homosexuality to children in our society through cartoons plays a very big role because it shapes the thinking of the child but on the other hand, the world is just ignoring the fact and hiding it so that it doesn’t create a single impact on the child. This brings out the need to have more discussions on exposing homosexuality to children and how it should shape the modern world.

One case that recently came into light was in Kenya where gay anime shows which aired on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were banned from the country because it was flagged as disturbing content and ‘glorifying homosexual behavior’ among children.

Some of the names of those programs were-

  • The Loud House –The show is about the life of a child living with 11 other family members and his house is a mess.
  • The Legend of Korra –It is a sci-fi show where all the cartoons are known to bend matter.
  • Hey Arnold – The show centers on a child name Arnold who falls in adventurous troubles with his friends.

The Chief executive officer of the regulatory board, Exekiel Mutua said that “Adults can choose to become homosexuals and exercise their rights on sexual orientation and relationships, but not so with children”.

In India, there is hardly any chance that the cartoons can be related to homosexuality as there is a possibility it may be considered not normal or even a crime. The most relatable example in the Indian concept is if we talk about the movie ‘Bombay Talkies’. The movie has four short movies and two of them is “Ajeeb Dastan Hain Ye”  and “Sheila ki Jawani” and in that movie.

ALSO READ: Amnesty Condemns Caning of Gay Men in Indonesia by Sharia or Islamic law in Indonesia

In “Sheila ki Jawani”, the protagonist aspires to become a dancer and dances to the tunes of the Bollywood song Sheila ki Jawani but his father wishes him to have a more manly aim such as to be a footballer. This small example can exactly tell you about the scenario in India. How profession is linked to the gender and not to one’s individual choices. In this country, people are more concerned about a boy child not to have ‘Girly’ Dreams then how can one expect the cartoons to be glorifying homosexuality.

The idea of not including homosexual content in cartoons is because it is believed that it might induce homosexual behavior in children. Though ironically, if cartoons start having these hints of homosexuality for children to view at a young age, they might react normally when they witness an actual homosexual relation. There is a possibility that we will not push or reject anyone to a corner for the choices they will make. Acceptance might rule. THINK!

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi