The U.K. department store is among the brands now seeking to leverage the legalization of gay marriage.
“Gentlemen, it’s time to think outside the closet and take him up the aisle in style,” advises a recently posted video from House of Fraser that’s aimed at gay grooms, part of the series “Style My Dilemma.” Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales earlier this year, and the U.K. department store is among the brands now seeking to leverage this landmark. It’s only logical, given that recent research forecasts that close to half of 20-year-olds in the U.K. will never legally tie the knot; meanwhile, more than 1,400 same-sex couples there got married in the three months after legalization, according to new stats.
Virgin Holidays jumped on the opportunity as soon as the bill passed in the British parliament last year, with a print ad promoting same-sex honeymoons, and more recently, Virgin awarded a dream honeymoon to a gay couple as the prize in a magazine contest. Travel is an obvious category to benefit from the bump in weddings, and various hospitality brands are vying for marriage-minded LGBT consumers. In the U.S., these include Marriott and Hilton, which recently sponsored a wedding at its Beverly Hills hotel for a couple who were plaintiffs in the drive to overturn California’s ban against same-sex marriage.
While some marketers may hesitate to explicitly target same-sex brides or grooms, today’s consumers expect brands to help drive social change and are increasingly open-minded about the changing face of families. Noted Virgin Holidays’ head of communications in The Telegraph: “People do mainly think of us as a family travel brand, so it’s quite a big step for us to say we are family, and we are for all.”