17 Controversial Ad Campaigns That Weren't Afraid of Making a Statement — For Better or Worse

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When a company, especially one as iconic as Tiffany & Co., releases an advertisement that’s clearly on the right side of history, it says something about the way society is evolving. In their latest campaign released in January, the brand featured its very first same-sex couple on the brink of marriage. The “Will You?” engagement campaign consists of seven couples that have presumably popped the question, and includes a gay couple sitting on a New York City stoop. Like all the couples in the campaign, dancer Eric Bourne and fashion executive Thomas Trube,are a real life couple. The ad has set Tiffany & Co. apart from it’s competitors by proving they are, indeed, all-inclusive (if you have money, that is).

While some brands aim to provoke or shock in their advertisement choices for strictly monetary gain or attention, others, like Tiffany & Co., choose to go the route of breaking new ground and establishing themselves as being open to everyone. When brands choose to opt for socially and politically-sound ads, they’re not just pushing for a dialogue about these issues, but also pushing for acceptance and change.

Here are 17 other ads that struck a chord and made a lasting impression by breaking social ground, usually for better, and sometimes, to great offense.

Image: Tiffany

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