On September 6, 2018 the Supreme Court of India decriminalised section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. With this judgment, the gay community got a legal nod to sexual rights. Although laws have changed for the better, we still witness negative attitudes towards the LGBTQ people. To address this taboo, The Times of India in collaboration with FCB India launched the campaign “Times Out & Proud” to drive the one-point agenda – Acceptance.
Majority of the LGBTQ community is still living a life of discrimination and constantly worry about how their choices may impact their loved ones. On the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17, The Times of India (TOI), in collaboration with FCB Ulka launched the initiative “Times Out & Proud” that gives hope of an inclusive society.
This campaign is aimed to empower the members of the LGBTQ community to live a dignified life with acceptance and pride. On May 17, 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. With this campaign, TOI hopes to carve out a mainstream space for members of the community who identify as LGBTQ to interact, share and collaborate with the entire Indian population.
As a part of the campaign, TOI invites the LGBTQ community to share their stories with the newspaper – their highs and lows, their celebrations, their announcements, their milestones, etc. TOI launched Times Out & Proud Classifieds on the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) that will carry these stories across key metros at no cost during the campaign tenure.
The campaign film launched on TOI’s digital platform portrays a captivating story of people from the LGBTQ community and their families who have been living with a hope of an inclusive world. The film offers a sneak-peak into the lives of the people who have endured all societal discriminations as they pour their heart out in the classifieds columns. The campaign urges the families and friends of the LGBTQ community to extend their support to their loved ones.
Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI, said, “At TOI, we believe in celebrating the differences in an inclusive society. The LGBTQ community has always had a place in our hearts, now they also have a special place in our paper. Through this campaign, we aim to provoke the readers to debate archaic notions and adopt a progressive outlook towards modern living. Acceptance and inclusivity are two biggest challenges for all those who are born different or choose to be non-conventional. Through the Times Out and Proud campaign, we hope readers would join hands with us to tackle prejudices and extend a warm welcome to the LGBTQ community to live happily and productively alongside the mainstream.”
Swati Bhattacharya, CCO of FCB India, said, “There is nothing like transsexual jealousy, heterosexual laughter, homosexual silence. If we all feel the same things we must be the same. A classified column is the oldest part of the newspaper, one that concerns itself with life, death, birth, job, issues that concern members of LGBTQ community as well. This shall serve as a/the perfect reminder to humanity that there’s more to connect us than divide us.”
Jason Samuel, Creative Supervisor, FCB Ulka, said, “The most powerful ideas are simple yet life-changing. We wanted to give a voice to a people who didn’t have one for so long. So we gave the LGBTQ community their very own classifieds section in The Times of India. A place where they can stand up, speak freely and celebrate each other. Identifying as an LGBTQ individual is something to be proud of. We wanted India to know that.”
The initiative, Times Out & Proud, is conceptualised as a continuous series of multiple initiatives across print, digital, TV, radio and on-ground. Through various content, interactions and activations, the campaign will aim to better integrate the LGBTQ community and raise awareness of their issues. The concept of gender-fluidity is not easily accepted or even understood by many. We live in a world where everyone is presumed to be heterosexual (or straight). We will never know the exact size of the LGBTQ community in India because of the stigma attached to it and therefore, many choose to remain in the ‘closet’.
Times of India is giving a powerful tool to address the issue at hand, where one can share their coming out story, or tell the world about an anniversary with their same-sex partner. The campaign allows us to show our support for an LGBTQ friend or relative via a story in 50 words. So if one wants to be featured in Times Out and Proud classifieds, write your full name and contact number at email@example.com
Client: The Times Of India
Creative Agency: FCB India
Creative Team: Fred Levron, Swati Bhattacharya, Keegan Pinto, Jason Samuel, Vishakha Khattri, Anindya Banerjee, Shailesh Khandeparkar, Nikhil Kerkar, Amol Annaldas
Account Management: Rohit Diveker, Raghav Mahendra
Director: Jaydeep Sarkar
Producers: Prithvi Raj Luthra and Radhika Puri
Production House: Native Films
Campaign Elements: Digital