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

Patrick O'Neill looks back at his 1994 spot

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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.

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