‘Times Out & Proud’ aims to create acceptance and change for the LGBTQ+ community

With this campaign, TOI and FCB India want to bring the representation of the LGBTQ+ community into the mainstream ad space

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: May 18, 2019 9:54 AM
Times Out and Proud Campaign

This International World Homophobic Day, the TOI brand in collaboration with FCB India has conceptualized an impactful ad film, ‘Times Out and Proud’. The ad film breaks stereotypes and showcases the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

At the beginning of the film, there was an apology note addressed to the LGBTQ+ community stating how the community was deprived of basic rights because of the archaic Section 377. The law has been changed but it's still a long way to go to gain acceptance from society. 

The idea of the campaign stems from the ‘Sindoor Khela’ ad film created last year which has won many prestigious awards. The agency and TOI were able to reach out to and connect with the LGBTQ+ community and that was the genesis of this campaign's inspiration. Through the ‘Sindoor Khela’ ad film, they realized the firsthand issues the community faces and this campaign is the direct result of the interaction they had with the community. 

Speaking about the Insight and brief that was given to the agency Swati Bhattacharya, CCO, FCB Ulka stated, “It is high time that positive campaigns like these are done by good voices like Times Of India. I think classified is the oldest part of the newspaper. When you see the seeds of change being planted over there it is a game changer. With every campaign that TOI does they try and create a new normal for society. Even with this film they did the same. It is normal to be from the LGBTQ+ community. That is why the ‘Out & Proud’ campaign is clearly set in that direction.”

Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI speaking about the insight of this ad film said, “While the legislative change took place and there is a change in the legal status as far as the LGBTQ+ community is concerned. The impact of this change is just not there and acceptance is what we are seeking through this ad campaign. To get acceptance from the mainstream media is very important to embrace the community.”

With 377 being struck down, e4m asked Bhattacharya if more such ad films will be produced. Her response was, “Absolutely, I think this ad campaign should compel other brands to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community as a consumer. When you are showcasing a mother and a father in an ad film it should not only be a binary. Once everyone embraces these ad films, every brand can do something impactful. It is just not about big institutions and smaller institutions putting out a message. It is about what we can do as a family. I think the Chief Justice's message and the course of how the film starts, showcases how much the LGBTQ+ community has gone through. It is time all of us try to set things right.” 

Talking about the message that TOI wanted to convey through this ad campaign Bhargava commented, “There is an emotional journey full of trials and tribulations that the LGBTQ+ community goes through. Once people understand how difficult that journey is, the emotional hazard that the community had to go through for no fault of their own, when people truly realize what these personal stories are all about there will be acceptance. That is the message we want to bring about.”

The expectations for this campaign according to Bhargava is ‘Return on Emotions’, instead of ‘Return On Investments’. “Widespread acceptance from the LGBTQ+ community. As a newspaper with a high reach and influence is considered as the thought leader of this country and hopefully we bring about an impactful change in the society. I want people to open their hearts to a community that has just not been accepted for far too long”, remarked Bhargava.

TOI being a reliable and relevant brand helps put out a message to other brands to follow suit to tell stories of people who have faced a lot of trials and discrimination. Bhargava remarked, “There are brands that have embraced the community in the past and I’m sure brands will embrace it in the future. I do hope there is more support for the community. I truly hope that the community benefits from this campaign through an emotional level. As a newspaper, I hope we bring about a change in society as members of the fourth estate. I do believe TOI will earn the respect and love of its readers if it continues to do the right thing in every sphere of life.”

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