Thursday, February 28

Husbands and Wives

With the advance of marriage equality, comes a whole set of issues that none of us have probably ever thought about before.  Like how to refer to married couples who are not just man and wife.

Well the Associated Press is going to help those of us who write and market for a living.  The organization, who sets journalism standards around the world, just recently changed its guidelines to move from calling same-sex married people either "couples" or "partners" to either "husbands" or "wives," obviously depending on the situation.

It's a bold move, that was evidently surrounded by a little drama, although I don't really care about that necessarily.  What I do want to reference, from a marketing standpoint, is that we all have to evolve with pop culture and societal norms ... especially the ones changing before our eyes.  We have to keep up with the language and the times, especially as it relates to how we reference and relate to our target audiences.

Kindle is setting a good example.  Their new television spot was created in advance of the new AP guidelines, but is completely on track with changing demographics and consumer behavior.

Take a look:

Notice that the product messaging still took center stage, it's not like the brand is out to make a political statement here ... it's just trying to reflect their changing target audience.  I would perhaps go out on a limb to say that it's ground breaking as well, but in any case it's certainly a more accurate depiction of the changing landscape of "husbands" and "wives." And it definitely makes a statement about the progressiveness of the brand (and their products) in the process.

What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. I think it's interesting and good. Mainstream language leads to mainstream acceptance perhaps. Meantime, every time I use the word partner for my love interest, people think I am talking about a business association. Why can't straight peeps use the word partner w/o pp making that assumption?

  2. Main stream language most certainly lead to main stream attitudes and behaviors, without a doubt! Jim.