Advertising has strayed from the method of simply presenting facts. Now, it isn’t only about getting the product or the message across, but rather about starting a conversation. Whether through social media or word of mouth, this is often how companies get their name out. This New York Times article, appropriately timed with today’s monumental decisions regarding the LGBT community, addresses the idea of advertisements as conversation starters. One Expedia advertisement noted in the article features a lesbian wedding through the eyes of the father of a bride. According to Expedia’s public relations director, this advertisement was not only meant to show Expedia’s support of this community, but was also meant to start a conversation.
“For Expedia’s commercial, the response has been ‘mixed,’ Ms. Gavin said. ‘There are a lot of folks who applaud us and a lot of folks who aren’t happy.’ That will not deter Expedia, she added, because she believes that time is on the company’s side. ‘In 10 years,’ she asked, ‘is this even a conversation we’ll have any more?'” – Stuart Elliot, The New York Times
Such advertisements are often controversial, but this is not a defining factor; the Dove ads in my article Real Beauty & Self Esteem caused a commotion simply because they were different. Regardless, any advertisement intended to get people talking is a somewhat risky endeavor; you can predict an audience’s reactions, but you can never be sure until the advertisement hits the public. Is the risk worth it? I believe it is. Look at Expedia’s case. Nearly one year after its release, it is still fulfilling itself.