WGC Fall Ads Get Real


September 16, 2004

WGC Fall Ads Get Real

Eschewing the typical contrived model shots so common in luxury ad campaigns, the World Gold Council announced a heartfelt fourth quarter worldwide $6 million ad campaign using real people captured by National Geographic photographers in urban and rural settings in the U.S., Italy, India and China. For the generic ads, each photo features a gold jewelry occasion and has a descriptive line, such as one U.S. market ad which says, "Birthday bracelet from best friends, New York," and shows three women celebrating in a boat on New York Harbor. Smaller photos of women friends also celebrating birthdays with gold jewelry in Italian and Indian cities accompany the lead photo. The headline on the ads: "There's one language everyone understands," which ties into the Council's existing tag line: "Speak Gold," a phrase that appears at the bottom of each ad.

"People are interesting in other parts of the world," says WGC Managing Director John Calnon. "They like to see what real people are wearing or doing in Milan and Mumbai."

Besides depicting friendships among women, the campaign also focuses on other relationships, such as lovers. It even includes some ads that celebrate a woman's love for herself, shown through wearing and enjoying her favorite gold jewelry, which she feels proud to have purchased.

"There's a depth of meaning in gold," says Michael Pace, WGC new vice president, marketing. "Gold is connected to something deep inside us that's significant and universal in all cultures. It unites us." Pace says the campaign also ties into the current consumer yearning for luxury experiences. 'We have to be much clearer about the emotional rationale for buying gold to compete with other luxury experiences," he says.

Besides the generic campaign, there's also a product-specific ad series featuring lifestyle photos from the new campaign, plus photos of gold jewelry from a variety of designers and manufacturers including Charles Garnier, Mattioli, Roberto Coin, SeidenGang, Yvel, Aurafin-OroAmerica, Atasay and Bel Oro. Retailers involved in the campaign include Bailey Banks & Biddle, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Fortunoff, Saks, Lord & Taylor and ShopNBC. The campaign focuses on aspirational, well-designed gold, intended to help consumers differentiate such pieces from more mundane, mass market offerings.

The print campaign will appear in 19 leading fashion and lifestyle publications, including InStyle, Vanity Fair, Vogue and W. A simultaneous outdoor campaign will run in key gold markets including Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix and Houston. The overall campaign was developed by London-based agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The ad campaign will be supported by point-of-sale marketing materials and the www.speakgold.com web site. For more information, contact WGC, (212) 317-3880.

- by Peggy Jo Donahue

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