Thursday Trends: Same-Sex Couples Reflected in Advertising

Tiffany's first ad featuring a gay couple (Adweek)

Tiffany’s first ad featuring a gay couple (Adweek)

Advertisements are finally getting with the times, and featuring more diversity than your run-of-the-mill straight white couple.

Last month, jewelry giant Tiffany’s debuted a new print ad for their wedding rings. But this ad had one thing different: it prominently featured a gay couple. And apparently the two men are a couple in real life, and were photographed on their own New York stoop.

This was the first time Tiffany’s has used a same-sex couple in their advertising. But it won’t be the last: Just this week, the brand used the same couple in a TV-spot ad. (The ad also features straight and interracial couples.) It signals that the 178-year-old brand recognizes that love comes in many forms, and they want to be all-inclusive. (And it’s a smart business move.)

Other brands in recent years have featured same-sex couples. Preppy retailer J. Crew used a gay couple in their catalog in spring 2011, and Gap used another couple on a billboard the following year. Incidentally, neither sets of couples are professional models: In the case of the J. Crew couple, one of the men was a designer for the brand. (It seems there’s also a side-trend of using real people.)

Lesbian couples are also increasingly represented. In 2012, JC Penney featured a lesbian couple with their children in a catalog pegged to Mother’s Day. Last year, condom brand Durex used two women being playfully affectionate with each other in an ad for a massage gel. This year, Hallmark showed an ad featuring a real-life lesbian couple describing their feelings for each other in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

It’s clear that things are changing. Even “The Onion” got in the action, with a (mock) article claiming that jewelry company Zales created an ad featuring a polyamorous triad. (But the article did rightfully call out that we, as a whole society, aren’t quite there yet.)

Hopefully this follow its natural progression, and  will eventually lead to more ads featuring same-sex couples with families. It’d be great to see future print and online ads and commercials where we see a family with two dads or two moms, NBD.

After all, this would make complete economic sense for these companies: In 2012, “Adweek” reported that the LGBT market is estimated to be worth around $743B+.

 

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