London agencies Publicis Dialog and Publicis Blueprint have jointly created a campaign to ‘rebrand’ the institution of marriage, at a time when marriage rates are falling to an all time low.
The work was developed to run in the Valentine’s issue of national women’s glossy, SHE magazine, which has a monthly circulation of 150,000*. The agencies were briefed to make people reappraise marriage as the number of British people marrying drops to its lowest level since 1862.
Working together, their start point was that marriage is perceived to be a conventional and traditional behaviour. Their goal was to develop an idea that turns this cliché on its head. If the current perception is that marriage is the ultimate act of conformity, the new campaign aims to shows that actually, today, marriage can be the ultimate act of rebellion and non-conformity.
The work plays on the fact that getting married is actually intensely independent; the moment when a couple recognises and welcomes the fact that they only need each other and no one else. Marriage isn’t safe and schmaltzy; it’s defiant and brave. The key image features a black and white image of a female’s left hand sticking a finger up, as if swearing. On a closer look, it is actually the wedding finger – complete with a gold wedding ring – rather than the third finger, that’s being held up. The end line reads, simply: “Married. Because I mean it.” A range of 6 sheets and 48 sheet executions have been developed, with headlines including: “Don’t want to commit? I do.” and “Don’t want the world to know? I do.”
Mike Welsh, CEO at Publicis Dialog, said: “It was a pleasure to take on this brief – we welcome the challenge of finding a fresh way to approach a difficult issue, which could so easily be tackled by conventional and tired messages and techniques. The tone of voice, visual language and typography of our campaign all contribute to the freshness and irreverence of the idea. By positioning marriage as an act of rebellion, we feel we can change the conversation and force reappraisal.”
David Prideaux, executive creative director at Publicis Dialog, added: “As a (happily) married man I know that marriage isn’t just the default option for a couple today. It’s a choice, and it’s a bold one. With our creative we set out to portray the married and those intending to marry as the defiant ones in society. We wanted to instil in people that romantic, passionate, tried-and-tested-through-the-centuries feeling: ‘you and me against the world’.” Publicis Dialog, whose clients include Zurich, HP and Renault, and Publicis Blueprint, who works for Cath Kidston, Orange and Asda, are part of Publicis Group UK, one of the UK’s leading communications networks.
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