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Racy Commercial Targeting Same-Sex Couples Brings International Fame to Cool Store

Store-owner says he can’t wait to try his next commercial.

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WHEN BRITTEN AND MICHELLE WOLF of BVW Jewelers (Reno, NV) set out to produce a TV commercial celebrating same-sex engagements (and promoting rings to celebrate the same), they didn’t do it in order to target an untapped revenue source. “We just did it to show that we’re different,” Britten said yesterday in a SMART Show presentation moderated by yours truly.

Wolf has been a well-known custom designer in Reno for years, but he and Michelle just opened their retail store, which was a Top 5 finisher in last year’s America’s Coolest Stores contest in the Small Cool division, in 2013. The store is obviously different, from its ocean-blue concrete floor to wall art painted by local artists to a bridal business that includes lab-grown diamonds as 30% of its total (see our Cool Stores profile of BVW Jewelers).

However, what’s most talked about around town is the TV commercial featuring a marriage proposal from one woman to another – so much so that Britten says the commercial is over 300,000 views internationally.

The commercial itself is slick and racy, opening with a shot of a woman in underwear getting out of bed and getting dressed (“that’s actually the part we’ve gotten the most complaints about,” says Britten) and then picking up her girlfriend to ultimately propose on a bridge overlooking a river. When I asked Britten how much the commercial cost, I was shocked to hear him say about $6,000. The Wolfs had a local videographer film and produce the commercial, and they themselves created the storyline and found the actors. Britten says the commercial has paid for itself “ten times over” and has received rave reviews from both straight and gay people. In fact, he said he’s been a bit disappointed that they didn’t receive more complaints! “All publicity is good publicity,” he said. The commercial is viewable on YouTube but has also run on local TV (especially during The Ellen Degeneres Show) and in local theaters prior to first run movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

When asked about misconceptions that other jewelers may have about the LGBT community, Michelle said that she overheard one jeweler saying, “it’s awesome because they buy two rings!” She said that viewing a same-sex couple as a double transaction is the wrong way to look at it. “They’re people, and each person has their own idea of what they want in an engagement ring. We don’t treat them as a ‘sale,’ we treat them as people.” Britten went on to say that like most BVW clients, his same-sex clients often prefer custom rings.

Ultimately, the commercial, which first ran last October, has brought so much publicity to the store that Britten can’t wait to top it. “We have something in the works for this fall that is going to blow this one away,” he said.

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An Instagram post featuring Britten Wolf at his jeweler’s bench includes an unsolicited response from a client who “absolutely loved” the TV commercial.

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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