Tiffany & Co., a Store for Grandmothers

Tiffany & Co., a Store for Grandmothers















An ad communicates far more than the literal words within it.  In fact, readers will discount what the brand says because they suspect it will say most anything it believes will sell.  But readers know that the message as a whole speaks convincingly about what the brand believes will sell.  And what the brand believes will sell communicates a lot about who the brand is and what the brand thinks of its potential buyers.

What does this ad communicate about who is Tiffany & Co. and about what Tiffany & Co. thinks about its potential buyers?

Of course, the ad says that Tiffany & Co. is comfortable with gay marriage.  If you are planning on marrying someone of the same sex, Tiffany & Co. would like you to buy their wedding rings.  In certain areas, this message might upset some people.  In those areas with a Tiffany store, this may not be too big a concern.  And even those who object to gay marriage, probably would not object to selling gold rings to gay people.

The image in the ad shows two attractive guys sitting on the stoop of a gentrified building in an urban area.  As a photo taken of friends by an amateur, it’s fine.  As an image that represents the brand, it has nothing to say.  The image is uninteresting and boring.  If people were hesitating to go to Tiffany’s because Tiffany’s is perceived by them to be too wild and crazy, then maybe this image would cause those people to reconsider. But too wild and crazy is not Tiffany’s problem.

The cloying copy leads readers to see Tiffany & Co. as a store for grandmothers, not as a place a young guy would go for a ring.

The image and copy together convincingly tell readers that Tiffany’s is an uninteresting store that sees its potential customers as people with the sappy mindset of a grandmother.

Worse than a waste, this ad may set back the image of Tiffany & Co.

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