1994: Ikea features openly gay couple in commercial created by Deutsch

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch NY. Below, find out why Ikea’s “Dining Room” commercial is one of her favorite industry milestones.

Love is love is love. And this goes back to the 1994, well before being openly gay was commonplace. One of my favorite marketing moments of all time was so simple, yet so controversial and groundbreaking.

It was an IKEA commercial that Deutsch produced, showcasing the first openly gay couple, buying furniture. Not only did this commercial stir passionate reactions from detractors and supporters—but it caused the kind of commotion no one had ever seen before on Madison Avenue.

Looking back, the 1990’s emerged as a decade of niche marketing, and a number of advertisers targeted gays, as surveys showed they often enjoyed a higher disposable household income. Fast forward to today, and with the development of social media and real-time, far-reaching conversations taking place, we’ve seen a major shift over the past few years in attitudes and overall acceptance and inclusion of the LGBT community.

It’s a fascinating development that is gaining momentum quickly. I am particularly proud to know that Deutsch was a pioneer for portraying this unchartered subject and one brands often shied away from.

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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