Tiffany & Co. made some waves over the past several weeks when it featured a same sex couple in its “Will You?” engagement campaign. Tiffany is the first “famous” brands to take this path, and they are undoubtedly hoping this campaign will pay high dividends after disappointing holiday sales.
Personally, I applaud Tiffany for taking a bold step in the advertising world. Although, as the Wall Street Journal noted, the legalization of gay marriage in numerous states has created new opportunities for wedding related goods to be sold. While somewhat ground breaking, this campaign was certainly sensible from an economic standpoint.
The question that it raises for me is whether we will shortly see more mainstream advertising catering to gay and lesbian consumers. Of course, such advertising has taken place in publications catering to the LGBT community, but perhaps its time that such advertising start taking place in more of our everyday channels. Regular print publications and television commercial could all start providing more inclusive campaigns. Indeed, while the Tiffany ad seems to be garnering the most attention, there was a nice bit of publicity generated for a DirecTV Sunday Ticket ad which “apparently” featured a gay couple. I say “apparently,” because you’d miss it if you weren’t paying attention.
I’m sure there are those out there that think catering explicitly to same sex couples and/or members of the LGBT community risks alienating more “conservative” consumers. Admittedly, I think this could be an unfortunate problem that is difficult to quantify in advance. But seriously, if the NFL and Sunday Ticket are comfortable with the idea, how bad could that downside really be. I think advertisers need to be prepared to make that leap if they’re not already there.