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A gay couple celebrating marriage may be the new face of Tiffany. Known around the world for their exquisite blue box, the company is taking their endorsement of beautiful, and expensive, expressions of love to new levels. Embracing the increasing changes in public and governmental sentiment, the high-end jewelery giant is putting its money where its mouth is.
At the very least, they are putting their money where their marketing projections tell them to put it. Recognizing that decadent tastes are not just for the traditional bride, a new marketing campaign is chasing a whole new emerging customer base. Facing facts, gay couples have spent a lot of cash at the 178-year-old company, going all out for the ones they love, and Tiffany is now courting the gay couple in earnest.
Whether mercenary or socially progressive, the move on the part of Tiffany to embrace diversity is huge. From the perspective of the gay consumer, motivation makes little difference as long as the company puts the dollars behind making this new “Will You?” campaign visible in its support. Pragmatically speaking, a large public marketing push from a company like Tiffany is a huge win for the same-sex marriage advocates, and a way to open up doors and increase awareness. For that alone, they are likely to win the hearts, or at least the pockets of countless gay couples looking for that special timeless engagement and wedding piece. The gay community has always had a history of consolidating support and patronage of those who have supported them.
Now that same-sex marriages are legal in 36 states (soon to be 37 with today’s ruling in South Dakota), the future is looking ripe for a same-sex wedding boom. Tiffany sits poised to take advantage of the coming tsunami of spending on jewelery, floral arrangements, venues, caterers, fashion designers, photographers, wedding singers, consultants, and everything nuptial. Now is a good time to be in any of these businesses, and Tiffany may be starting a trend to cash in on that fact. Smart business owners will be lining up to do whatever it takes to inflate the bottom line, as long as it does not alienate the rest of their customers. Featuring an attractive gay couple in advertising is an innocuous enough step on the surface, but may trigger an avalanche of similar opportunists. Engaged couples are ready for them to bring it on.
Tiffany announced that they were not impressed with their holiday sales. That may have entered into their decision to take this step with advertising, hoping that this might be the shot in the arm needed with a potential increase in wedding business. The company did lower earnings expectations regardless, blaming the financial hits from a strong U.S dollar and a souring world economy. The company has blamed the strong U.S dollar for the decrease in foreign visitors. The dollar is at the highest value that it has seen in ten years. Foreign visitors depend on the weak U.S. dollar to ensure an economical holiday, seeing that they get to take vacations which are much longer. Tiffany believes itself to be an early victim of the dropping global economy.
Even so, Tiffany is facing the potential coming financial storm by positioning themselves to ride the wave of gay couples about to be permitted to marry. The ICON collections are geared toward this new era. The lines are classic and simple. They are very easy on the eye, if potentially not the wallet. It is a bold start, making a monumental statement at a turning point in national history. Tiffany is hoping that fortune will, indeed, favor the bold.
By Crystal Ball
Image courtesy of minxlj – Flickr License