Hotel booking website Stay Uncle’s unique marketing campaign in support of the LGBTQ community – to spread awareness of rooms for short durations for same-sex couples – has become quite the flavor of the past fortnight.
But before we tell you about the campaign and show you the video, here’s what we think: While this show of support for the LGBTQ community is definitely laudable – particularly in the wake of the recent demise of Article 377 – it will also immensely benefit the business of Stay Uncle.
After all, if you’ve been following the accommodations business, you will recall that Stay Uncle founder Sanchit Sethi had initially planned to offer short-duration hotel bookings to short-stay travelers, but surprisingly, nearly all requests for reservations were coming from unmarried couples who, as Sethi puts it, were looking for rooms, not judgements. And that had made Stay Uncle take another look at its business plans and tweak them to target couples. And Stay Uncle returned to the picture, setting the internet on fire as they were the ‘first-of-its-kind’ portal that allowed unmarried couples to book hotels for 12 hours, without being subjected to unnecessary scrutiny and societal judgments.
With a mere 20 employees, Stay Uncle has managed to up its game from Delhi, where it is headquartered, and currently lists more than 800 couple-friendly hotels across 40 cities in India. All that couples need to book a room with the assurance of safety and no-questions-asked privacy is a valid identification document like an Aadhar Card or a Driving License.
Stay Uncle’s new ad campaign
And now to get back to Stay Uncle’s new, ad campaign. It’s a unique initiative that addresses the problem of hotel bookings for the LGBTQ community. To spread awareness about the problem – and the solution they provide to it – the StayUncle ad shows a gay couple walking into a hotel to book a room. There, they meet some utterly insensitive and judgmental people who seem to mock their right to their sexual preferences. It’s a simple narrative that has helped Stay Uncle raise a question to most Indian Brands about their stance on the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Watch it here:
This ad with a simple narrative and real-looking people is a laudable show of support for the LGBTQ community by Stay Uncle, and it will also immensely benefit the business of the hotel bookings company
Stay Uncle’s Co-Founder and CMO, Blaze Arizanov says, “We all had opinions while the Article 377 made an exit, but we at Stay Uncle took this a little more seriously and introduced same-sex-friendly hotels for the LGBTQ community. The idea of the entire campaign was to launch the ad in a unique way so that most of the brands come out in full support for the community, not just limited to having opinions, but (in) deeds too.”
The campaign was planned and executed by influencer marketing company Buzzoka. Its CEO Ashutosh Harbola says, “It is always a pleasure to work with Stay Uncle and the team as their initiatives are path-breaking and allow us to justify our creative flair as an organization.”
Team Variance is the creative agency behind this campaign while Shefali Srivastava is the Creative Director.
Remember how brands celebrated the scrapping of Article 377? Well, it is only now that we can actually see something happening on-ground. StayUncle has started a commendable campaign and now we can hope to see many brands coming forward and making India accept that sexual preferences are fundamental human rights that cannot be questioned or challenged but deserve the same kind of respect that other fundamental rights do.
This ad was published on 27th September, 2018, and Stay Uncle raised a question to most of the Indian Brands about their stance on the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Twitterati picked up this unique initiative and they too started asking questions to different brands on the ongoing topic. StayUncle questioned Ola India through a tweet if they have a problem if a gay couple holds hands in a cab.
There were other people questioning brands like Myntra and Uber with the hashtag StayUncleRaisesAQuestion. The entire campaign went viral on Twitter and saw over 15,000 conversations floating with a reach of over 20 Million.
So Stay Uncle’s unique initiative was not limited to releasing an online Ad but their unique marketing tactic pulled in some brands to come out and speak on the rights of the LGBTQ community, though most of the rest were silent.