Few but effective words that have convinced Americans that diamonds are the symbol of love and commitment, that no other precious stone should be considered for an engagement ring. Before it was not so, there were no precise rules: rubies and sapphires were both usual choices. After the De Beers campaign, instead, these are stones that have fallen into disgrace and now, about 60 years later, it is rare to spot an engagement ring without diamonds. Everything has changed.
Fortunately, there are those who use fantasy together with the weapons of technology. JCPenney, the third largest department store chain in the United States, has launched an online video making promoting its diamond jewelry in a highly original way. In the clip, a man who gives his wife a vacuum cleaner for their anniversary is sent to a kind of kennel, a place of segregation where husbands who buy their bad gifts wives are forced to fold mountains of laundry. In the final scene, a photograph is shown to the man: the solution is to give a necklace from JCPenney. Linked to this video is a site: bewareofthedoghouse.com, which allows “imprisoning” inadequate men in a virtual kennel. In 2009 the video campaign had over 14 million views on YouTube, and more than 7 million people have visited the interactive site.
Liz Chatelain, a market research specialist in the jewelery industry at Mvi Marketing in California, believes the campaign has yielded a great result: “JC Penney has done a great job to get more consumers to give away jewelry,” he says. “Increasing the business to be divided is not only good for the advertiser, but also for the industry”. Many other jewelers are realizing the potential of online advertising to help reach a wider audience of “digital natives” who are less reachable by traditional advertising on paper or television.
Cartier, for example, shocked the world by pulling out an advertising campaign for the Cartier product line on the social network MySpace (www.myspace.com/lovebycartier). But we cannot forget the jewelery that comes to life in a 2012 video.
In truth, even those who choose newspapers for their advertising could be a bit original. Like the Green Initiative campaign of July 2007, conceived by the couple Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, which focused on the ecological theme and on aid to Africa to promote the Green Bracelets. The bracelets are made of malachite and rough diamonds and half of the profits from the sale were used for the Diamond Empowerment Fund, an international non-profit organization that aims to raise funds for education in Africa.
The bracelets were spotted at the wrists of several celebrities. Equally famous is the campaign conducted by No Dirty Gold, an organization that wants to put an end to bad gold mining practices.
In 2006, the American Oxfam association and the Eearthworks initiative published a black and white announcement in the “New York Times” featuring a heart-shaped gold medallion. Inside the jewel was the image of a young, barefoot African boy shoveling trash into a mine. In the caption under the medallion we read: “There is nothing romantic about a toxic gold mine”. Sixteen jewelers in the US have been listed in the advertisement as “leader” or “latecomers”, based on their collaboration with (or resistance to) the No Dirty Gold campaign, for sustainably produced gold.
Instead, there is the more traditional trend of celebrities. Movie stars, sporting heroes and leaders paired with gold and diamond jewelry. To be truly convincing, however, celebrity must be consistent with the product of which it is a testimonial and, above all, tell a story. For example, the print ad campaign of British jeweler Stephen Webster. He chose a somewhat rebellious rock star, Christina Aguilera, as his muse in a series of images inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, where the singer plays a sexy maiden.
Another case is that of Damiani Gioielli, an Italian fashion house that has taken a different path, concentrating its press campaign on strong female icons, such as Sharon Stone.
Wearing Damiani, Sharon stands as Eve in the Garden of Eden, as aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and as Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Gucci has instead created a video on the creation of the campaign for the Chiodo collection, in which actress Clare Danes provides makeup while wearing jewelry.
A similar video for the Spanish Tous shows Kylie Minogue laughing and playing while getting ready for the 2009 campaign.
Un video simile per la spagnola Tous mostra Kylie Minogue che ride e gioca, mentre si prepara per la campagna 2009.
The golden rules
Chatelain has some golden rules for jewelry advertising today. The most important is to use videos. For example, you can “create short videos (15-30 seconds) of customers doing something in the store. You can then send the video to the client as a thank you, in addition to asking them if you can use the video on the store’s website and on YouTube “. Chatelain is also recommended to use humor in advertising. Because there is nothing that sells better than good humor. Federico Graglia