FCB Ulka won a Bronze Lion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) category at the 2021 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for The Times of India‘s “Out and Proud Classified” campaign.
Six months after the Supreme Court of India decriminalized homosexuality, overturning a 157-year-old law that viewed same-sex relationships as unnatural and criminal, the LGBTQ+ community still felt shunned and unwelcome.
In an effort to confront this disconnect between the law and social acceptance, FCB India and The Times of India converted the popular classifieds section of the newspaper, which is typically used to announce key milestones in a person’s life, to “Times Out & Proud,” a classifieds section devoted exclusively to the LGBTQ+ community. The section became a free space for LGBTQ+ individuals to look for accepting jobs, homes, and partners, celebrate life events and come out to family and friends.
As India’s largest English newspaper, redesigning the classifieds section had a resounding impact on the visibility of India’s LGBTQ+ community. It provided an outlet for social acceptance on a wide scale, and encouraged the larger population to engage in LGBTQ+ stories. The initiative was accompanied with a digital film, launched on The International Day against Transphobia Homophobia and Biphobia, followed by full-page print/magazine ads, outdoor ads, contextual editorial content, roundtable debates on national TV, pride parades, fashion shows and a celebrity/influencer social media campaign.