August 17, 1999
De Beers Boosts Ad Spending 30%
De Beers will spend 30% more than planned to promote diamond gifts during the fourth quarter of 1999, following the success of its millennium-themed commercial "Crowds."
"When our commercial tested well beyond our greatest expectations with consumers, we were inspired to build substantially to our advertising investment, already the largest in De Beers' history," says Stephen Lussier, worldwide director of De Beers' Consumer Marketing Division in London. The commercial depicts a couple standing in the middle of the New Year's Eve crowd in New York City's Times Square; when the man presents the woman with a diamond at midnight, it's like they're the only people on earth. Recent De Beers research shows 83% of test audiences who viewed the commercial believe "diamonds would be a perfect way to commemorate the millennium."
The "Crowds" commercial will appear through the holiday season on cable and broadcast stations in 45- and 60-second broadcasts, appearing during Thanksgiving day football games, the U.S. Open and the World Series. De Beers will continue its popular "Seize the Day" campaign in print and outdoor advertising, hitting national and large regional newspapers, highway and airport billboards, and bus and train station posters. A special billboard that will reign over Times Square from October to New Year's Day will ask "What are you waiting for, the year 3000?"
- by Peggy Jo Donahue