Kathy Delaney

20 Years Before It Was Cool to Cast Gay Couples, Ikea Made This Pioneering Ad

The mini-wave of brands casting gay couples in TV ads this year continues to rise, with the likes of Honey Maid, Cheerios and DirecTV all diving in. More power to them. But Ikea was the first marketer to feature a gay couple in a mainstream commercial. Twenty years ago.The 1994 spot below, from Deutsch, ran after 10 p.m. in three markets where Ikea then had a significant presence: New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The late-night airing ensured that the ad wouldn't be seen during "family hour" programming. That concession, however, did little to quell the objections of the American Family Association and its leader, the Rev. Donald Wildmon.Wildmon called for boycotts of Ikea stores, one of which, on Long Island, N.Y., was the target of a bomb threat, which turned out to be unfounded. The retailer, however, continued to air the ad, which was part of a lifestyle campaign featuring different types of consumers (a divorced mom, adopting parents, empty nesters, etc.) that began in 1993.The creative team behind "Dining Room," including creative director Greg DiNoto, associate cd Kathy Delaney, copywriter Dallas Itzen and art director Patrick O'Neill, are no longer at Deutsch. But O'Neill, who later worked at TBWA\Chiat\Day and now is chief creative officer at blood testing company Theranos, shared his memories of helping to create something that didn't win awards but was truly groundbreaking. brightcove.createExperiences();

Gary Koepke Is Promoted to SapientNitro N.A. CCO

Gary Koepke has been promoted to chief creative officer, North America, at SapientNitro, after joining the company last year as global executive creative director of brand content innovation.