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Diamond Ad Blitz Set for the Holidays

NEW YORK — Times may be tough, but diamond advertising certainly isn’t slowing down much. The Diamond Trading Co., the sales and marketing arm of De Beers Group, is spending 14 percent more on diamond ads and marketing this holiday season...

NEW YORK — Times may be tough, but diamond advertising certainly isn’t slowing down much. The Diamond Trading Co., the sales and marketing arm of De Beers Group, is spending 14 percent more on diamond ads and marketing this holiday season than it did last year.

The company doesn’t reveal how much it spends. However, according to CMR, a Taylor Nelson Sofres company that tracks ad spending, the company spent about $59.2 million last year on U.S. media expenditures.

In a press luncheon last week, the company outlined some highlights of its marketing messages for the crucial holiday selling season. Based around the theme “Declaration,” the holiday campaign this year focuses more on emotional motifs.

“Our consumer research primarily showed the mood of America at present to be one of uncertainty and anxiousness, yet many people want to push beyond mourning,” said Richard Lennox, director of the diamond group at J. Walter Thompson, DTC’s advertising agency.

Among the new ads are a print series focused on fancy-shaped diamonds, which makes its debut in November magazines, marking the first time the company has emphasized this particular diamond category. Statement diamonds such as bigger diamond jewelry, and three-stone diamond jewelry are also being promoted in ads. An additional series of print ads based on the Declaration theme features quirky tag lines such as: “It’s like saying I love you through a megaphone cranked up to 11,” and “Carve the turkey any way you damn please.”

A new TV commercial also based on Declaration will begin the second week of this month, and previous commercials will run up until that time. The new TV advertisements will be aired on every major NFL football game between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In addition, the company’s design gallery at adiamondisforever.com has been expanded, and is being used as a promotional tool for retailers and manufacturers to identify new diamond jewelry styles. Seth Grossman, director of market planning at J. Walter Thompson, noted that sales of diamond jewelry have increased by 26 percent in the last five years.

In 1997, 6.6 million pieces of diamond jewelry were sold, while in 2001, that number rose to 8.4 million.

This story first appeared in the November 4, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.