Zales aired a jewelry ad to promote its diamond rings this holiday season, featuring people of all ages looking at each other lovingly, wearing shiny symbols of their undying devotion in a montage precisely calculated to make viewers tear up.
Only there’s one couple we haven’t seen in many other commercials of this ilk: two women in bridal gowns.
“We believe the world needs more love that lasts, love that grows, love that’s worth waiting for,” a voiceover says, with the last phrase landing just as one bride slips a wedding band on the other’s finger.
The ad has prompted conservative media watch group One Million Moms to ask its followers to let the company know how much they disapprove of it.
“Zales Jewelers should be ashamed of attempting to normalize sin by featuring two women getting married in their latest commercial,” the group says on its website. The organization complains that the 30-second ad airs during primetime family programming and football games. This crosses a line because “it is not a retailer’s job to introduce so-called ‘social issues’ such as this to our children,” the group states.
One Million Moms urges people to contact Zales through the company’s site and to speak to managers of their local Zales stores, warning that they will not shop at the store this holiday season if the ad continues to air.
Zales stands by its inclusive commercial, telling Yahoo Style in a statement: “At Zales, we are very proud to have helped guests celebrate life and express love for nearly 100 years. Throughout that time, we have always been dedicated to promoting a spirit of inclusion for all guests, which reflects our core values and the type of exceptional experience we believe every guest deserves.”
The Zales Facebook page has been flooded with comments about the ad, most of them praising the company for its inclusive attitude and even promising to shop there more.
“Zales, your new advertisement featuring a lesbian couple getting married, among other happy people, is WONDERFUL, PROMISING and INSPIRING,” wrote Facebook user Alisson Attwood Boudreau. “As a result of this commercial, I now plan to shop at your store for all of my female relatives this Christmas, and will urge my many many good friends to do the same. xoxo keep up the good work.”
The company has expressed support of marriage equality in the past. In June of this year, Zales partnered with Love and Pride, a jewelry and lifestyle site created by jewelry designer Udi Behr, which donates proceeds to support equality and civil rights.
But considering how much money Zales stands to gain by catering to the LGBTQ market, this probably wasn’t a purely philanthropic move.
“Having conducted a test in April, we are very excited to be launching the Love and Pride collection as part of our continued efforts to help every guest celebrate life and express love,” a Zales spokesperson told NationalJeweler.com last summer. “This collection is truly original and also promotes our commitment to foster a spirit of inclusion for all guests.”