Professional Jeweler Archive: Holiday Hoopla

February 2000


Holiday Hoopla

Ads reflected the excitement and abandon of a century's last shopping season

“You’ll never see a holiday like this one again, so why be frugal?” magazine and TV ads seemed to ask during the months leading up to the 1999 holiday season. As you plan your campaigns for the rest of 2000, pay attention to the themes explored in jewelers’ festive holiday ads.

–by Stacey King


The playing field widened when everybody – from the most venerable jewelers to the new kids on the block – cashed in on millennium madness in advertising. Who ever imagined there would be a time when famed London jeweler Laurence Graff and his 137.82-ct. “Paragon” diamond would compete with Internet retailer on the pages of Town & Country? Or that Lazare Kaplan International would take out an ad in Elle promoting its trademarked “My Lazare Diamond” while, a few pages away, a computer keyboard with diamond rings in place of an alphabet promoted A four-page fold-out ad by in The New York Times Magazine and ads for Louis Glick and Gabrielle Diamonds in Town & Country were other notables among the usual array of designer jewelry ads.

To London, to London – or your computer? Luxury maven Laurence Graff and e-tailer ran ads in consumer magazines during the holiday season.


Enormous diamonds, grandiose jewelry and ornate ad designs marked the official end of minimalism, appropriately timed to welcome the new millennium. Jewelers such as Chanel, Carrera y Carrera and Cellini broke out their most extravagant designs for ads – platinum and diamonds – and magnified them for overwhelming effect. Companies such as Cartier and David Yurman, which had led the minimalist ad trend with desolate white backgrounds and lone images, changed their tune by introducing rich colors and surreal backgrounds into their ads.

No more white space: Cartier’s techno wallpaper background and Chanel’s enlarged ring photo filled ad pages.


The ’99 holiday season was a time for going a little crazy. Jewelry companies chose this occasion to roll out their new mold-breaking products. Tiffany & Co. introduced Lucida,™ an original square-cut diamond in a four-prong setting, while Cartier and Lepozzi hailed new jewelry collections that use black and brown diamonds. With a new millennium ahead of consumers, there was no better time to catch them in the mood to try something new.

Ads for Tiffany’s Lucida diamond cut and Cartier’s and Lepozzi’s black diamond designs welcomed a new era in jewelry.


The first clue that things were getting steamy in ’99 was the sight of Victoria’s Secret models on TV lolling on loveseats and murmuring lustfully about “desire.” Something came over the models in magazines too. A content woman wearing nothing but her Concord La Scala watch lay on her stomach across three ad pages, while a passionate model puckered up to the floor in a promo for Ambar’s Quad® diamond jewelry. Even the usual friendly, self-assured women in Van Cleef & Arpels’ ads were replaced by a model wearing a sensual expression next to the tag line “The pleasure of perfection.”

All they want for Christmas: Sexy models seduced consumers in Van Cleef & Arpels and Ambar jewelry ads.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications