De Beers, Diamonds & the Millennium


De Beers, Diamonds & the Millennium

From trade education to consumer awareness, De Beers steps up to the plate to promote millennial diamond purchases

De Beers is mounting an all-fronts campaign to promote diamonds as the quintessential gift of the millennium. "You don't have to ignore the millennium because you think all the promotions for it are tacky," says Lynn Diamond, director of the Diamond Promotion Service, New York City. "There is an upscale opportunity here."

As the folks who brought the world "A diamond is forever" see it, nothing quite matches a diamond's symbolism during this once-in-a-lifetime event. Diamonds were formed billions of years ago, making them a fitting gift for a passage-of-time event such as the millennium. Even the forever slogan seems particularly appropriate for a gift during this time. From birthdays to anniversaries, from New Year's Day to Christmas, from commemorating a birth to commemorating a life of achievement, De Beers wants jewelers to promote each millennial occasion with a diamond gift suggestion.

Training Plan
DPS will conduct a complete program teaching jewelers how to promote diamonds during the millennium. The program will be held at spring and summer trade events such as the American Gem Society Conclave in New Orleans, the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas and the JA International Jewelry Show in New York City. DPS also has developed an educational package jewelers can buy to use in their stores, available beginning this month. It includes a plan for consumer communications and a sales training plan.

Trend Triggers
De Beers, through agency J. Walter Thompson, which operates DPS, conducted research among a special group of what it calls "creative consumers" to find what will trigger such trendsetters to buy diamonds during the millennium. This research helped DPS develop the educational package and will be used to develop consumer advertising later this year. The advertising will begin by suggesting diamond millennium gifts to women through print ads in women's magazines and shift during the fall to a campaign directed at men.

DPS worked for months to help manufacturers and larger chains develop diamond jewelry celebrating the occasion. Jewelers also can buy point-of-sale material such as in-case signs, post cards and tags from DPS.

In addition, the Diamond Information Center, a J. Walter Thompson division that creates publicity for De Beers, will mount a public relations campaign for the millennium, culminating in a Diamonds-International awards event in Paris in January 2000. De Beers also is working with a group of international jewelers, each of whom will create millennium diamond jewelry to be introduced at a media event sometime this year.


– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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