Big corporations have learned that diversity is good for business and the corporate line. This reality continues to be lost on the Republican Party and, in particular, the Christofascists who want to impose a form of Christian Sharia Law on all Americans. The result is that time after time the professional Christian crowd goes into spittle flecked rants every time a major corporation either runs an ad featuring a gay couple or, the horror, a interracial couple, or places ads in LGBT media outlets. Now, IKEA has launched an ad campaign that says that all homes are equal and then features an interracial gay couple. Ad Week looks at the new campaign. Here are highlights:
[T]he state of the American dream is a touchy issue. And while politicians running for the Oval Office obviously have to take on middle- and working-class angst, brands might prefer to steer clear of something so contentious and polarizing.
however, is not among those brands. In its latest marketing effort, the home-furnishings giant goes right to the heart of a difficult topic, asking, "Where did the American dream go?"
As it turns out—according to related Ikea conducted in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit—the dream hasn't gone far, though it has changed significantly.
"One of the things we've seen since [the recession of] 2008 is a change in people's perception of what it means to make it in today's society," said Christine Whitehawk, Ikea U.S.'s communications manager. "So you see a shift happening."
That shift, according to Ikea, means consumers are measuring the American dream less in terms of material accumulation—the suburban McMansion with a new SUV in the driveway—and more in terms of making the most of what they have, living life on their own terms, and focusing on creating memories instead of just accumulating more things.
Among the findings of the brand's report, titled "Discovering the New American Dream," is that 60 percent of people now believe that the American dream has "more to do with achieving satisfactory quality of life defined in ways other than obtaining material possessions." While 45 percent of people still believe the American dream means buying a home, for example, a much bigger number, 57 percent, believe the dream is lived "though everyday moments with friends and family."
Literal diversity also figures big. One of the print ads shows two gay men chilling out on a sofa in front of a flag that reads "All homes are created equal." This is hardly the first time Ikea has put a gay couple in its advertising—it cast one —but this time the image reads less like the spotlighting of one segment of the population and more like an image of a diverse population overall. (The couple's not just gay but mixed race, too.)
"There are so many different ways that Americans live—multigenerational, gay parents, etc.—that define the real portrait of the America that's really out there," Stone said. "If we'd put across 20 different living situations, they'd all be equally powerful."
The new creative is the opening salvo in a year's worth of creative under the slogan "We Help You Make It," all of it intended to teach consumers that, whatever their definition of the American dream might be, Ikea can help with it.
"People are finding it harder to make it in today's society, but the optimism is still there," Whitehawk said. "We're trying to get the message out that we're here to partner with them to create that everyday better life that they want to have."