Seize the Day
De Beers is counting on its new campaign to jolt men into buying more
diamonds this holiday season
With Christmas and your best jewelry-selling season just
around the corner, De Beers has unveiled its most ambitious ad campaign
ever. Called "Seize the Day," it seeks to take advantage of the
new strata of affluence created by the U.S.'s economic strength over the
Ironically, the campaign was announced Aug. 31, the same day the Dow
Jones Industrial Average dropped 512 points. But the fundamentals of the
U.S. market remain sound, says Stephen Lussier, worldwide director of De
Beers' Consumer Marketing Division in London. "Stock market movements
have not had a big effect on jewelry sales historically," he says.
To prove his point, Lussier points to a 23% stock market drop in October
1987, when interest rates and unemployment were low. Christmas sales were
healthy that year. Because the same economic conditions exist now, De Beers
anticipates a strong holiday selling season.
Investment in Diamonds
To underscore this confidence, De Beers pledged a 55% increase in its holiday
ad budget for the U.S. this year. The trade segment of the campaign urges
retailers to "act now" and not shy away from promotional investment.
Full-page ads ran in October issues of Professional Jeweler,National
Jeweler, JCKand Modern Jeweler.
The consumer segment of the campaign encourages men to buy diamonds this
Christmas. Ads will run in November and December issues of consumer magazines
aimed at affluent males (Cigar Aficionado, Fast Company, Robb Report,
Wiredand Worth).Ads will appear also in national newspapers such
as The Wall Street Journal, USA Todayand Barronsand such regional
newspapers as the Los Angeles Timesand Chicago Tribune.The
ads feature stark black and white lettering with a humorous twist: "It
is never a good idea to keep a woman waiting," "There's never
been a better time to invest in futures," "This Christmas there
will be more than three wise men" and "Redo the kitchen next year."
Says De Beers: "This will get men who would not otherwise visit
a jewelry store to do so."
A direct marketing campaign aimed at 7,000 jewelry retailers in the United
States includes countertop cards and postcards. Meanwhile, the strategy
for television ads continues with De Beers' popular "Shadows"
series of men surprising women with diamond jewelry gifts.
New to De Beers' consumer advertising mix this autumn is outdoor advertising.
For the first time, De Beers is placing witty messages on billboards and
posters designed for airports, trains, train stations, buses and outdoor
kiosks. For high "techies," banners will appear on the Internet
"This investment reflects our confidence in the strength of the
American market," says Lussier.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.