Commentary

Brands Show Their Colors In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Friday ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right of people of the same sex to marry in all 50 states was greeted with glee by brands and marketers.

“Several businesses marked the landmark decision … with tweets of support, snazzy marketing gimmicks and new products,” writes Belinda Robinson For Dailymail.com. “Among the most creative ideas was Ben and Jerry's ice cream, which announced it would temporarily rename its chocolate chip cookie dough to 'I Dough, I Dough.”

Adweek’s Lauren Johnson rounded up a dozen “Winning Brand Tweets” following the announcement that includes such stalwarts as MasterCard, Jell-O, Target and Hillary. On Refinery29, Taylor Bryant highlights some beauty brands “showing their love for gay pride.” Mashable’s Patrick Kulp showed reactions “from multinational corporations to bootstrapping startups.”

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AT&T changed its logo to rainbow colors for the day and Snickers did the same with its candy wrapper on Twitter that carried the message “Stay Who You Are.” American Airlines showed an airliner with a cabin filled with rainbows on its video screens in a compendium of tweets by the Washington Post’s Jacob Bogage.

“As one of the world’s top destinations for weddings, Las Vegas sent an open-arms invitation to millions of same-sex couples now able to elope without fear of legal discrimination: Get married here,” writes Kyle Roerink in the Las Vegas Sun. “Las Vegas has long been a friend of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — using advertising campaigns, events and discounts to let people know the city is welcoming of people of any sexual orientation.”

The wedding industry aside, “marriage equality could have a positive impact on the economy overall,” writes Alexander C. Kaufman on Huffington Post.

“In the first three years of nationwide marriage equality, spending on same-sex weddings could add $184.7 million in tax revenue and 13,058 jobs to states’ economies, according to a report from the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. The U.S. economy could get a $2.6 billion boost over the next three years,” Kaufman reports.

New York has added “$228.6 million to the economy, by way of the wedding industry and $19.4 million in tax revenue” since it passed its Marriage Equality Act in 2011, Abigail Tracy reports on Vocative. And, “The 13 states where gay marriage was still banned would see $546 million pumped back into their economies from spending on same-sex weddings during the first three years of gay marriage being legal.” 

“Many travel brands quickly took to social media to voice their support and other tourism boards across the country also reflected on what the ruling means to them,” write Dan Peltier and Joyce Manalo for Skift.

“This is the icing on the cake for us,” said Richard Gray, the LGBTQ managing director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, they report. “We made a commitment in 1996 to be LGBTQ friendly and we launched #LoveIsLove in February when we got marriage equality in Florida. We’re thankful to corporate America for their help with this over the years.”

Indeed, “long before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide on Friday, hundreds of major American businesses were supporting marriage equality,” points out Katie Lobosco for CNNMoney. 

The list includes Procter & Gamble, Target, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, Pepsico, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, who were among the 379 corporations that not only signed a brief supporting same-sex marriage court but “perhaps most powerfully … ramped up benefits and protections for their own LGBT employees.” 

Lobosco points out that “even Walmart, once known for its conservative leanings, began offering health insurance to the spouses of employees in same-sex marriages in 2014.

Silicon Valley tech firms led the way, writes Chriss W. Street on Breitbart News, with a 2013 brief supporting gay marriage signed by 278 companies. Following Friday’s “it is so ordered” decision by the court, the “social media celebration went viral,” including tweets from Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others.  

Before the decision last week, Allstate’s Esurance division released an online video, #EqualDreams, “to show, in an emotionally compelling way, our belief that all dreams should be equal,” CMO Alan Gellman said. Filmed at a “traditional” wedding earlier this month, “it includes interviews with children imagining what their own weddings will be like, while several gay teens in attendance express doubts that such a day will come for them,” Robert Channick reports for the Chicago Tribune.

Then there was the pitch: “If you and your partner are insured on the same Esurance policy, you'll get the same great rate as married couples — even in states that don't recognize your union.”

In Friday’s ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority: “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

 #LoveWins is even more succinct.

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