Love and Marketing

The US Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right of same-sex marriage had marketers everywhere celebrating the ruling.

This article displays dozens of brand tweets that marked the ruling, including those from Ben & Jerry’s, Visa, Jell-O, and Maytag. (The one from Maytag is particularly clever.)

If you are a supporter of same sex marriage (as 60% of Americans are), it is hard to argue with the sentiment expressed in these tweets. When an issue like this is so relevant to so many people, a brand probably would be remiss if it didn’t weigh in.

But it also raises some interesting questions about the confluence of marketing and social issues. When hundreds of brands are saying the same thing how does your specific message stand out?  What would the ramifications have been for a mainstream brand that had come out in support of gay marriage 10-15 years ago, when the issue was much more controversial?  If the justices had ruled against same-sex marriage, would brands have been wise to tweet their disappointment and outrage?

Along those lines, the New York Times on Friday featured an article in which some in the LGBT community sort of mourn the mainstream support of gay marriage – as if that acceptance has diminished the sense of “outsiderdom” that used to bond the community together.