Usually a State Farm ad showing a man proposing marriage to a woman doesn’t draw much attention on Twitter. However, the Internet is buzzing about the following State Farm ad, and debating the photo, which shows an African man — potentially African-American man, since the model’s portfolio doesn’t delineate his heritage, but his Ukrainian photographer dubs him “African” — giving a wedding ring to a Caucasian women. The State Farm ad was published to the State Farm Twitter page on December 21, and since that time, it has received more than 1,000 comments. The State Farm ad has also drawn more than 2,000 Twitter likes, as well as more than 700 retweets.
The description of the State Farm ad notes that the woman said yes to marriage in their viral marriage scenario, and the insurance agency prompted folks who just got engaged at Christmas to protect their “ring bling” by using State Farm. However, many of the folks talking about the viral State Farm ad aren’t talking about insurance protection for diamond engagement rings.
— State Farm (@StateFarm) December 21, 2016
A scroll through the comments section of the viral State Farm ad reveals thoughts on either side of the issue — both from those supporting the State Farm ad, with approval for the interracial relationship displayed, and comments that oppose of the State Farm ad. As reported by the Root, State Farm used a simple stock image of an African-American man offering a wedding ring to a Caucasian woman, but some folks reacted with heated fury over the State Farm ad.
As noted in the above and below stock images, the stock photo is titled “African man giving a wedding ring to his girlfriend,” both on Shutterstock and other stock photo agencies websites. The copyright holder of the photo is Dmytro Zinkevych, a photographer who has several different views of the same interracial couple in his photograph collection. The top image above is titled “African man giving a ring to his lovely girlfriend,” which adds the word “lovely” to the description of the viral photo collection — and shows a new view of the couple in the center of the stock photo controversy.
The same photographer whose work was featured in the viral State Farm interracial couple ad used the same models for the “Amused couple packing suitcases for vacation,” as seen below. However, it isn’t known if Dmytro could have anticipated how much attention Zinkevych’s photos would get after State Farm chose to use the above interracial stock photo couple in their recent ad. The lesson for photographers seems to be to include plenty of interracial and unexpected images in stock photos in order to gain attention and buzz for companies.
Some of the comments being left beneath the State Farm ad can be read below. A portion of those comments are congratulating State Farm for being bold enough to use an interracial couple in their ad. Others are publishing more untoward things regarding the State Farm ad featuring the interracial couple.
Hungover Unicorn: “The reactions to that State Farm ad are beyond disgusting.”
[Featured Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock]