Professional Jeweler Archive: Ad Trends in 2003

January 2004


Ad Trends in 2003

Jewelry on women gets big play; still lifes are less frequent

Jewelry made its way onto women’s necks, ears, hands and arms in ads last year, as lifestyle themes overwhelmed ads featuring still lifes of jewels alone.
Colorful ads were also more prevalent than black-and-white, though many marketers still use the latter effectively. The most popular colors were deep rich jewel tones in red, green, blue and purple, reflecting a return to jewel-like colors

in apparel and other accessories. Metallics were also key to many of the year’s strongest campaigns, again mirroring fashion’s continued interest in these looks for apparel, shoes and handbags.

Several luxury brand retailers took out multiple pages to tell stories related to relationships and luxury pursuits, the kinds of messages the moneyed set finds compelling. Cartier’s “story” featured real people in relationships of all kinds, including romantic, mother- daughter, sisters and between a musician and her instrument. All wore Cartier jewels (even the guitar).

Asprey, meanwhile, shot a series of ads featuring the British upper crust playing at their manors. Tourneau’s Luxury of Time ads featured people enjoying the luxury of time to play sports, enjoy the arts, be with loved ones and pursue rarified hobbies.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Hand to Mouth

Jewelry is no longer just about decoration. In ads from companies such as Leslie Greene (pictured), Asprey, Roberto Coin, Boucheron and Mouwad, models gnawed, kissed or looked like they were going to swallow the jewels or watches they held to their mouths.

Body Parts

Many advertisers used seemingly disconnected body parts to capture attention. Used effectively, such as in the Daniel K ad shown here, you can tell what the body part is doing (in this case, looking through fabric swatches). Executed poorly, such as in ads by Giorgio Visconti and Gucci, the limbs look like distorted grotesqueries in a scene from a criminal forensics show.

The Twilight Zone

Some advertisers featured single-color ads with models who look like they’re from another world. Neiman Marcus and Graff used this style in previous years, but it really caught on in 2003 among advertisers such as Bailey Banks & Biddle (shown), Buccellati, Picchiotti and Perles de Tahiti.

Watch Your Back

Well-known fashion houses advertised their fine jewelry and watch lines heavily during the holiday season. This clearly helped to get out the jewelry message, but they are formidable competition for newer jewelry brands trying to gain attention. Among the advertisers: Louis Vuitton (pictured), Armani, Chanel, Gucci, Bill Blass and Dior.

A Girl and Her Jewelry

Perhaps influenced by De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co. ads for right-hand rings, countless ads showed simply a young woman and her jewelry. The most effective managed to suggest a lifestyle and a back story for their models instead of mere vapidness. The best practitioners of such lifestyle ads included Kwiat (pictured), Tiffany, David Yurman, Pomellato and Patek Philippe.


Ads bathed in gold were popular, some suggesting fire or reflections from the sun. Despite the challenge in getting jewelry and watches to look good against such a background, the ads achieved success, including those from H. Stern (shown), Bulgari, Ebel and Rolex.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications