WASHINGTON - When Jared Milrad and Nate Johnson participated in a video about "big changes," they had no idea their same-sex wedding plans would feature in Sunday's campaign launch by Hillary Clinton.
Friends called to say they saw the pair walking hand in hand in what quickly became one of the most widely viewed political clips of the year.
"We were both out shopping, working on wedding invitations," Milrad told AFP, overjoyed to be part of the Clinton rollout - and part of a large-scale change in US social attitudes.
"It shows how far we've come," said the 31-year-old lawyer, pleased that public support for same-sex marriage rights has grown so far as to appear in a presidential campaign launch.
The gay couple were only one in a diverse series of aspirational Americans featured in the Clinton ad, which casts a broad demographic net as she hunts for a winning coalition of voters.
It features Spanish-speaking brothers preparing to start a business, a mother seeking to return to the work force, an Asian-American college graduate and expectant African-American parents.
"Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion," Clinton says. "So I'm hitting the road to earn your vote." Milrad was one of the featured everyday American optimists to get a speaking part, explaining: "I'm getting married this summer, to someone I really care about." The vibrant clip, set to snappy music and featuring Clinton for less than half the video's length, is a dramatic departure from Clinton's drab announcement of seven years ago.
The video which kicked off her former unsuccessful campaign showed Clinton on a couch, talking about ending the Iraq war, shrinking deficits and expanding affordable health care.
It made no mention of same-sex unions. Barack Obama, the candidate who beat her to the White House, was personally opposed to gay marriage in 2008 and only recently converted to the cause.
"It's a sea change in progress that we see in our country," Milrad said.
Minutes after the Clinton announcement, Milrad took to Twitter to offer his endorsement - and to invite Clinton to the upcoming Milrad-Johnson nuptials.
"We have not officially heard from Hillary," admitted Johnson, a health consultant. "We are going to extend an option of a plus-one for her. She'll probably want to bring someone."