Jeweler Tiffany & Co. is featuring a same-sex couple for the first time in its advertising history. Though they join major fashion companies like Gap, Banana Republic and J. Crew, who have also featured same-sex couples, one can imagine that this was not an easy decision behind the scenes for such an iconic luxury brand to make. Take emotion out of this equation and think about what they have done from a Marketing perspective…
If Tiffany’s Marketing department is like any major brand or company, this ad represents “controversial” marketing discussions, decisions, and shifts on many fronts beyond the obvious. They embarked on a new creative strategy — they rarely show people in their ads, choosing rather to focus on their products. These are not standard issue models in the ad — they are a real NY couple in a real world location. Again, not typical Tiffany. And they clearly chose not just to dip their toes into a new target through one short term ad, but adjusted their web site landing page for wedding bands to feature 2 non-diamond, more masculine bands (as well as having featured a same-sex window display in their recent holiday window display in the NYC flagship store.) The move is clearly breaking ground in social media, too — more than 5 million Google searches in just the first three days after the ad was announced!
Reality Check: Great marketing isn’t usually safe. Sometimes it takes smarts and creativity, plus conviction and guts. (Sometimes? All the time!) Would you have had what it took to make the decision to approve this campaign, even if the data supported the demographic?
So even taking the obvious #equality and social commentary discussion out of the mix, we say kudos to Tiffany & Co for making big, serious, complicated, brand-altering decisions with the integrity, intelligence and class their brand has always stood for. A major GWH W.T.F (Winner, Toss-Up or Flop) WINNER on all fronts!