Ashwini Gangal

UrbanClap supports Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community in new ad

As part of this 'LGBT campaign', UrbanClap is looking to sponsor five photo shoots for same sex couples.

Mobile services marketplace UrbanClap has released a digital ad film in support of India's Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community. The film is about a young homosexual girl whose father has a hard time accepting reality. Interestingly, a rebel in his era, said father married a Muslim girl - the protagonist's mother - despite societal opposition, back in the day.

The catchphrase is 'Capture your love - come out in support of true love'. The brand urges members of the LGBT community to 'come out' for a photo shoot. Photography is one of the many services the brand offers.

UrbanClap supports Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community in new ad
UrbanClap is looking to sponsor five photo shoots, anywhere in India, for same sex couples. For this, the team can be reached via its social media channels.

For this campaign, UrbanClap worked with a Delhi-based startup agency called Ufaan, that has worked on films around similar themes in the past.

Says the brand team on its YouTube page: "With this film UrbanClap hopes that all of us will acknowledge the fact that every love deserves its special place in the world. So, come out for your photoshoot & capture your love with #pride!

We at UrbanClap are a simple bunch of people. We believe that everyone should have the right to love whoever they want to - in many ways it's the most basic human right. We stand firmly by the side of the LGBT community in India, as they fight for their equal rights, in the eyes of the law, or society. Our past efforts with the Naz Foundation (an NGO that supports the cause of sexual health), and this film, are very small gestures towards furthering the cause of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

As part of this effort, we are also giving away free photoshoots to LGBT community couples. The easiest way to reach out to us is to tag UrbanClap on Facebook or Twitter, with the hashtag #Comeoutforyourphotoshoot..."

UrbanClap supports Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community in new ad
Suhail Vadgaokar, vice president, customer experience, brand and public relations, UrbanClap, tells afaqs!, "This is not an 'advertisement'; it's a film around a cause. We're a small start-up and can't afford to spend much, but the one thing we believe in is equality and empowerment."

Currently, UrbanClap invests in digital and radio communication. The brand's first TVC (by Publicis Ambience) is in the pipeline and will be released in a month or so.

"The idea of creating a film around the LGBT community came to us when we were working with Naz (the aforementioned NGO)," he shares.

"We didn't want to give the film a very 'obvious' brand connect. We didn't want to shove the brand into the film. The logo appears only towards the end..." adds Vadgaokar, insisting that this is not a "tool to advertise" UrbanClap, but is a film about a cause the team feels strongly about.

UrbanClap was established in 2014 by Varun Khaitan, Abhiraj Bhal and Raghav Chandra. The services offered include those relating to photography, salon-at-home, home cleaning/repair, yoga/guitar instructors, among several others.

Religion to Reservation to LGBT...

Basing ads on, or in support of, marginalised sections of society is not a new creative tack; what has changed is the theme. While previously, issues like religious integration (Brooke Bond Red Label, KBC) and re-marriage (Tanishq) were considered bold, Fastrack and Myntra Anouk put issues like homosexuality in the spotlight.

Recently, Red Label (tea) and Red Lotus (apparel) launched ads featuring eunuchs and members of the transgender community, respectively. Jabong's latest ad celebrates diversity of all kinds; the film makes a case for bold fashion choices including gender neutral jewellery. Havells (fans) recently released (then withdrew) a spot condemning caste-based reservation.

'LGBT Marketing' - A new wave?

LGBT-themed communication, recognise experts, is a type of modern day 'Equality Marketing'.

UrbanClap supports Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community in new ad
UrbanClap supports Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community in new ad
About the trend, Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, Taproot Dentsu, says, "There's no harm if adverting reflects society. That's far better than doing clichéd 'product demo ads' or 'comparison ads'. In our country, there can never be 'too much' of any issue, certainly not this. For a year we have been seeing campaigns on themes like
, etc. Some touched our hearts, some didn't."

About UrbanClap's film, Padhi says, "I feel the issues explored here aren't jaded. The story-telling is. And product relevance is weak."

Divya Sharma, executive planning director, Hakuhodo Percept, says, "Driving inclusivity (regarding the issue of sexual orientation) is a cultural phenomenon that's taking shape globally and Indian brands are not shying away from joining the bandwagon. The attempt to acknowledge and stand up for an ignored, and possibly vilified, section of our society is healthy," adding, however, "It is important for these modern brands to commit to the issues raised. There's a certain responsibility that comes along with such cause-based marketing."

About UrbanClap's effort, Sharma says, "The ad puts the story and the cause before the brand and the product (service) - this is a risky approach," going on to appreciate the overall message (love as a basic human right) and the twist in the storyline about the daughter's sexual orientation.

(With inputs from Ashee Sharma and Suraj Ramnath)

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