Sunday March 24, 2019

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.

 

Next Story

Apple Removes App Portraying Homosexuality As “Sin”

Apple was yet to issue a statement on the app's removal

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

Apple has removed a religious app from App Store after a petition by an LGBTQ rights organisation called for its removal as the app portrayed homosexuality as “sickness” and “sin”.

According to a report in Fortune on Sunday, the app was created by Living Hope Ministries, a Texas-based religious group.

The app sought lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirit, asexual (LGBTQ) youth “to change from gay-to-straight through prayer and therapy”.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatises and demeans LGBT people,” Wayne Besen, Group Executive Director of non-profit Truth Wins Out that began the petition, said in a statement.

Ricky Chelette from Living Hope Ministries Executive, however, told NBC News that “we only help those individuals who are seeking us”.

Also Read- Actress Swara Bhasker Considers Kareena As An Inspiration For Working Girls

Chelette added that he was not informed in advance that Apple would remove the app.

Apple was yet to issue a statement on the app’s removal. (IANS)