Saturday, November 26, 2016
Advertisements, films and other media when studied over a period of time show society's shift in thought. They in many ways are a mirror to our society, thoughts and expressions. This obviously means we would love for them to be diverse in their representation and inclusive in their approach. But is this always possible? When it comes to queer lives, do we have more options for diversities in genders and sexualities on screen? Have advertisements in our country changed the way they portray queer lives?
We look through a few advertisements that we found interesting over the past few years.
Back in 2013, Fasttrack released it's advertisement with the catchy tagline "Come out of the closet". There were reasons to cheer even as important questions jumped out of the closet. Campaign India in this piece (http://www.campaignindia.in/video/fastrack-gets-bolder-urges-youth-to-come-out-of-the-closet/418476) looks at the motive behind the campaign. Fasttrack made a bold choice to take on societal taboos, urging all of us to break out of our own boxes and come out.
Recently, another advertisement released by Anouk (https://youtu.be/Ef27m5ocK6Q) looked at a lesbian relationship. It lends a gentle, nuanced eye to an intimate relationship between women who are meeting the parents. The advertisement itself is longer than usual ads and challenges us to look beyond the heterosexual norm. A giant leap forward for us all!
While the argument stands for greater representation on media, many activists and LGBT+ community are weary about the way this representation takes place. Advertisers themselves function within boxes of their target audience aka consumers and the product they are selling. They toe the line of selling an idea in a unique way while not losing their market entirely.
Amul has some of the best print advertisements. They have always made smart, quirky moves that questioned the norm with a bold touch.
This advertisement was featured on hoardings as well as in papers. This was in fact right after the 2009 judgment around Sec 377 which shows their interest in reaching out to marginalised communities. When this was overturned in 2013, they put out another advertisement which expressed their emotions on the decision. (https://twitter.com/Amul_Coop/status/411090126119268353)
We might agree these advertisements are fantastic. We might find them infuriating and misleading. Both these thoughts can co-exist in our world. But we have to agree that these advertisements are great starting points to understand and build conversation on LGBT+ lives, even as we create more spaces for diverse representation within media.
(These are some of our thoughts on the advertisements. Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet or FB us. You can also share other advertisements that you felt were great!)