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Homosexuality in Indian Advertising: Then and Now

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Last updated : June 15, 2015
In a recent digital campaign to promote its contemporary Indian wear brand, Myntra, has re-sparked the discussion on homosexuality.

In an Indian first, the long format digital ad for Myntra's in -house brand , Anouk, depicts a lesbian couple in a vivid display of emotions. The bold move has gotten it national and international media attention.

Moving on from humorous references to gays and lesbians to a sincere recognition of them as equals, this ad marks a paradigm shift in the way homosexuality is depicted in Indian advertising. To understand this evolution, we trace some popular ads of yesteryears that touched upon the issue.


Previous references to homosexuality, as in these ads, were made to infuse humour. If advertising mirrored societal attitudes, these videos tend to establish homosexuality as a departure from normal... something that could only either frighten people or tickle them into an insensitive laughter.


In a realistic evolution, the Myntra and Fastrack ads delve deeper into the issue. They picture homosexuals as individuals confident about their identity, and unapologetically 'non-conformist'.

Some leading Indian brands also came out in support of the LGBT community when section 377 was upheld by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

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First Published : June 15, 2015


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