Crate & Barrel produces romantic ads featuring gay couple

Lia Grainger
Shine On
January 9, 2013

*Sigh.* When will the day come when an ad like Crate & Barrel's new “Us&Always”  spread not become a political event?

The home and decor giant have joined the ranks of a growing number of mainstream retailers to prominently feature gay or lesbian couples in their advertising.

Their latest online catalogue features a set of “stories” for shoppers to browse, and one spread titled “Us&Always” is making a minor media buzz because it features a handsome young male couple preparing a pasta dinner together and sharing a bottle of wine.

The caption reads “Spend a Saturday night at home, cooking together, dining together. Music, candlelight, and a good bottle of wine, and you can have the table as long as you like.” In one image the men clink glasses in the kitchen. In another, they are eating their meal by candle light and smiling at one another.

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The spread is littered with about a dozen other images of every imaginable kitchen tool you could possible need to make pasta, along with links to a perfect “dinner playlist” and lessons on how to select wine glasses.

The catalogue also includes more typical spreads, including “First&Home” (a young woman’s first solo apartment), “Grandpa&Grandson” (an adult grandson drinking scotch with his grandpa), and “Now&Forever” (a man proposes to his wife).

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Many other major companies have also featured gay and lesbian couples in their ad campaigns, most notably The Gap, JC Penney, Target, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. Yet, it is still relatively rare.

One reason for this may be the backlash that is unfortunately still pretty much guaranteed from anti-gay groups like One Million Moms.

And yet it seems that more companies are recognizing that it may be in their financial best interests to reach out to the LGBT community. A recent article on Politicalfiber.com points out that gay households have spent an estimated $790 billion in 2012 alone, and that 23 per cent have switched brands after a different company was more supportive of the LGBT community.

Whatever the motivation, the list of companies that features LGBT couples in advertising is growing all the time.

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