Marketing has the power to educate and influence the people. Companies have realized the power which they possess to help eliminate the stigma which is held against the LGBT community in India. Globalization may have paved its way into our country back in 1990’s, significant developments in many areas were seen since then, however the one area which is still under the crutches of ignorance and misconception is the awareness and acceptance of the LGBT community in India.
However social marketing is now proving to be nuke towards bombing the lack of awareness amongst the masses. Social marketing holds the power to influence the society in terms of their behavior, mindset & attitude by exposing them to a series of well-planned medium of advertising which focuses on educating them and taking new approaches to spread the message. Social marketing is a risky thing when you are treading with a sensitive subject, especially in India where society takes offence in even lightest of thing which eventually affects the share prices of the company. For such profit seeking giants to take risky step in favor of goodwill of the society is bold move.
Companies are now developing their marketing strategies to shed light and empower the rainbow flag. The surge in such campaigns was seen especially after Supreme court decriminalized sec 377 in our country, which a was significant step towards freedom of love in the biggest democracy of the world. Companies are designing a youth driven ad campaign where most of the advertisements feature people from LGBTQ community of around the age bracket of 18-30, for which the reasons are assumed to be as per the Indian demographics, 50% of the population is below the age of 25 and 65% of the population is said to be below 35, from companies are identifying their target audience to direct their marketing campaign.
To take in the account of the most recent cases, some of the big names in the market carried forward LGBTQ+ empowering advertisements on occasion of Valentine’s Day which was on 14th February 2020. Every year on Valentine’s Day we were subjected to same old cliched ad campaigns which mostly includes chocolates, flowers, balloons and a romantic end note. Companies however took into account of the new age relationships which are coming to the light and grabbed the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the day of love hoisting a rainbow flag.
CASES FOR EXAMPLE
The Man Company, a brand which specializes in men’s grooming products shattered the toxic masculinity stereotype which generally is associated with the given market segment in which company operates. The Man Company, on Valentine’s Day released an advertisement empowering the people who find their orientation of love, accept the insecurities they live with and prefer to look at the world having a spark of optimism in their eyes. The ad campaign was launched with a tag #ForAllKindsOfLove.
MTV, an Indian music channel, on occasion of valentine’s day took a different approach to showcase the relationships of all orientations. Instead of a positive content filled with hearts & roses, the advertisement focused on series of arguments couples go through, may it be of any sexual orientation. The message which the company wanted to convey was that if you’re a couple belonging to LGBTQ+ community or not, the fights which take place in relationships are same on every page. Hence establishing a neutral ground, normalizing the same-gender relationships with the opposite-gender relationships.
Such advertisement campaigns don’t sell your product but it sells your brand. The above stated cases are one of many fine examples of how companies are using the social marketing to raise awareness about same-sex relationships and promote body positivity, It is also an attempt to bring more harmony to the society and increase their brand equity. Hence we can nod our heads in approval to this marketing initiative taken by the corporates for betterment of the society.