More Billboard Family Values from my Midwest Trip

Elizabeth's picture

Another billboard values series:

Monogamy(100) ad image

I've now seen this image on several billboards in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, but again, I wasn't fast enough to capture them myself. This image comes from the Hearts On Fire web site, where I also learned that this is not actually a midwestern phenomenon, but that the campaign has been featured on the Ellen Degeneris Show, the Martha Stewart show and other national media.

It's interesting to think about what monogamy does for people and what diamonds do for monogamy. According the Hearts on Fire TV ad monogamy itself is potentially pretty boring. Yet passionate, interesting, and romantic people also need monogamy so they need something that brings it alive. Apparently that something is not their own sparkling personalities, but rather that something is diamonds.

Michael suggested to me that diamond sellers would want to push polyamory because they might sell more diamonds that way. But I wonder if those who eschew monogamy also often also reject displays of ownership, possession, or wealth.

I'm curious about how others have interpreted the messages in the Monogamy(100) campaign. What is it saying about relationships, about monogamy, about romance, about the importance of status symbols? Have you seen other ad campaigns that reference monogamy, either by intensifying, embellishing or otherwise idealizing it? How does this campaign compare to the DeBeers Diamonds are Forever campaign?

And better yet: Given the terrible problems associated with diamond mining (war, exploitation, enviromental degradation, for example), what kinds of romance-centered messages might be used to challenge the diamond industry. Will (my partner and with whom I'm traveling the midwest) said to me a moment ago in challenging the DeBeers slogan "Yeah, but diamonds have no memory." What other catchy counter slogans might be useful in challenging the diamond marketers?

Posted from the library at Calvin College, where as best I could tell they do not sell condoms in the campus store, but where, to their credit, they did not filter out this web site. Also, it wasn't long ago that Ishmael Beah spoke here and I'm sure at least once made reference to blood diamonds. Calvin, a conservative Christian college has an excellent speaker series!

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