Pride Month, a time to honour the struggle of the LGBTQ+ community for acceptance and equality, takes us back to the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn, who were mostly people of colour, fought back against the police after being harassed and targeted, which resulted in four nights of rioting. Over the years, as the importance of the movement grew, brands too began coming out in support of Pride, through creative campaigns and messaging to promote awareness.
We are in the middle of Pride Month, so we decided to review a couple of our favourite ad campaigns in recent years. Urmi chose “Come out of the closet” by Fastrack while Rohit selected “Pure as love” by Bhima Jewellery. Both these campaigns embrace the plurality of gender, in their own unique ways— one with an audacious punch, while the other through a moving narrative.
Fastrack: Come out of the closet.
For many years, discussions on the LGBTQ community were forbidden in the Indian advertising industry. Today, however, certain ground-breaking initiatives in recognizing the community exist, one of which is the Fastrack advertising “Come out of the closet & move on.”
We liked this commercial since it was the first time in India that a television advertisement featured a lesbian pair. Inside the closet, the Lesbian duo is altering their clothes, and viewers are forced to speculate what the ladies were up to behind closed doors. The message “Come out of the closet” encourages users to leave their comfort closets. It all comes to a close with Fastrack’s now-famous byline, “Move On.” We’ve seen a strong brand interact with and tap into a variety of taboos for advertisers to consider. It had piqued the public’s interest and sparked a discussion. Fastrack’s Facebook page, which has 6.8 million followers, and YouTube, where the commercial has been viewed over 100,000 times.
It’s a terrific place to start for folks who want to think more progressive. It was wonderful to see corporations take a stand for homosexuality, and we can use advertising to educate people about such social standards.
Pure as love: Bhima Jewellery
People who do not comply with society’s norms have been despised and marginalised throughout history. Transgender persons are an example of one such community that continues to face ostracisation and abuse.
The ad “Pure as Love” by Bhima Jewellery depicts the transformation of a young adolescent into a joyful, confident woman, thanks to support of their loving, caring family. The simplicity and sensitivity with which the storyline is portrayed effectively conveys how love and support can nurture a person to stay true to themselves.
While some may argue that what the ad depicts is utopian and that our society is still a long way from becoming as welcoming as the young woman’s parents in the commercial, I believe this is a wonderful start.
In India, jewellery advertisements are all about promoting femininity, or more specifically, the society’s sanctioned definition of femininity. As a result, Bhima’s ad stands out, and it does it beautifully.
As one might expect, the ad received a lot of positive feedback and acclaim.
Do leave a comment to let us know your thoughts.