In recent years there has been an increasing amount of diversity in the media, specifically in the form of advertisements featuring non-traditional types of couples such as gay and interracial partners. This trend is portrayed in the latest advertisement from jewelry giant Tiffany & Co., a company that is well known for its effective and aesthetically pleasing marketing campaigns.
The advertisement features an image of a “real-life gay couple” from New York City—the first gay couple to ever be featured in a Tiffany ad—alongside two sleek silver wedding bands. This image is accompanied by Tiffany’s logo in its iconic robin’s-egg-blue shade and the following text:
“Will you promise to never stop completing my sentences or singing off-key, which I’m afraid you do often? And will you let today be the first sentence of one long story that never, ever ends? Will you?”
This ad is reportedly part of a preview for a new, larger campaign from Tiffany called “Will You?” featuring seven other real-life couples that are recently engaged. The campaign is meant to show diverse love stories, as opposed to the traditional ones that have more often been featured in ads by jewelry companies such as Tiffany.
According to Tiffany spokeswoman Linda Buckley in a statement published in Elle magazine, the new advertisement is simply keeping up with the times.
“Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear, and true love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms,” said Buckley. “The Tiffany engagement ring is the first sentence of the story that a couple will write together as they create a life that is deeply intimate and exceptional, which is the message we hope to convey through this campaign."
Although the recent increase in the diversity of advertisements in popular media is a step in a great direction, an article in AdWeek brings up the point that companies like Tiffany may not necessarily be pursuing such campaigns solely because of their progressive values.
“While it’s certainly exciting to see such an iconic brand make a progressive statement with its 'Will You?' campaign, it’s also obvious that it makes sense economically,” states the article. “The growing market of same-sex couples searching for engagement rings has many brands courting gay and lesbian couples directly.”
Over the past decade, more than 70,000 legal same-sex marriages have occurred, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center estimate. With gay marriage now legal in 36 states, it only makes sense for large jewelry companies to make an appeal to the gay demographic.
Partially due to the new attempt by jewelers to woo a particular segment of the market, as well as increasing public support for and acceptance of gay marriage, gay couples have ceased their shopping trips in search of simple, gold bands, favoring instead more flashy and expensive pieces.
Jeffrey Bennett, who is a vice present at Tiffany and runs the company’s Manhattan flagship store, has seen a greater “embrace of that traditional sense of the engagement” among gay couples. They now seek more elaborate designs and even pieces with large diamonds, according to a Wall Street Journal article, which makes them a very desirable group of customers to jewelers such as Tiffany.
While this new advertisement from Tiffany & Co.—as well as other similar ones in the media that feature non-traditional couples—may be profit-driven, it is still a source of progressive content in a world that is endlessly saturated with advertisements. Millennials are especially exposed to companies' marketing efforts, based on a heightened use of social networks and consumption of digital media in comparison to the general population. Hopefully, progressive ads will have an impact on our society and will one day be regarded as the norm.