My 10 Favorite Jewelry Promotions of 2014

To show creativity still abounds in this industry, each year I like to spotlight my favorite strange, unusual, audacious, and, yes, sometimes beautiful jewelry promotions, from big stores to small. And this year has some great ones. Take a look.

1.  Tiffany holiday commercial

I didn’t include this beautiful spot—the storied retailer’s first by new ad agency Ogilvy—in my holiday ad roundup, because it didn’t get much social media traction. But it’s every bit as elegant (and high-budget) as a Tiffany & Co. commercial should be, and the animation adds a nice touch of approachability. (It also ties in nicely with its store windows.) Nice visuals, nice music. Nice job.

2.  Brian Gavin Diamonds’ Vines

As Brian Gavin told JCK  this year, his e-tailer saw the Vine format as something it could master, and enlisted a local ad agency. The results are pretty amazing, showing what is possible even with just six seconds to work with.

Since we wrote about them this summer, the company has kept at it. Here are some great new ones:

3. The diamond dropped in the field in England

In August, London-based retailer 77 Diamonds launched what The Telegraph called a “perfect PR stunt”—sending a diamond ring up in a helium balloon, then letting it fall and declaring that whoever found it could keep it. Well, one part wasn’t so perfect: In the four months since, no one has claimed the 1.14 ct. cushion cut. The box containing the ring was outfitted with GPS, but it’s believed to have landed in a rural area without phone service. “It’s now completely off the radar,” wrote a local newspaper in October, speculating it may have been eaten by livestock or dropped onto private land. Still, what did get on the radar was 77 Diamonds, which concocted a clever ploy that people are still speculating about months later.

Courtesy 77 Diamonds

4. Recycled catalogs as jewelry

What to do with outdated catalogs? Levinson Jewelers decided to let young people make them into jewelry in an event at a local children’s museum.

Courtesy Levinson Jewelers

5. Shred Day

In the same waste-disposal vein comes Peter & Co.’s “Shred Day,” an event sponsored by the Avon Lake, Ohio, jeweler and a local realtor, which gave residents a free and easy way to protect their identities by letting them permanently destroy up to three boxes of personal papers.

6. Swarovski on Craigslist Missed Connections

Not everyone finds that special someone in Craigslist’s Missed Connections section—where readers try to hook up with a fleeting crush—but some romance seekers did win Swarovski jewelry, in a stunt dreamed up by its marketing firm to tout the bracelets for everyday wear. One ad, addressed to a Center City, Philadelphia, “black shirt ordering latte”—which the agency must have figured encompassed a lot of people—said: “Love that you’re the kind of girl that scrolls through the Missed Connections and knows your smile gets attention. You’re definitely our kind of girl. We think confidence like that deserves something sparkly. Something maybe like a Swarovski Stardust Bracelet? Maybe we have one for you. Send us a message and maybe we can make this sparkle yours.” You can debate the ethics of this—and obviously Craigslist wasn’t crazy about it, as all the posts were flagged for removal—though the black-shirted latte fans who got free bracelets probably weren’t complaining.

7.  Tiffany T Train

Tiffany & Co. is part of New York City lore—and so is the subway. So the home of the Blue Box, in its second appearance on this list, combined the two. The life-size Model T train, which was displayed at a Chelsea art gallery last month, featured Tiffany creations as well as a jewelry workbench to get products engraved, and was in general a “whole lot nicer than the 6 train,” as Adweek raved. Sadly, the phantom subway car was only shown for a week, so sightings were rare and treasured—just like something from Tiffany.

8. The “Brad Loves Melissa” billboard

For Valentine’s Day, J.R. Dunn Jewelers in Lighthouse Point, Fla., devoted its most-trafficked billboard to a classic non-sales pitch sales pitch: It featured no product and no context, just the words “Brad Loves Melissa” and the store’s logo. The billboard was the brainchild of a local man, who each year finds a new way to publicly declare his affection for his wife. But having it blared on the interstate won a much higher profile for his efforts—and for the jeweler. “People are used to seeing Breitling or Rolex or some kind of product [on the billboard],” said the store’s marketing manager. “I think it will create a buzz. People driving by will think: Who are Brad and Melissa? And where is the Rolex watch?”

Courtesy J.R. Dunn

9. The Gold Godzilla

Not all jewelry has to be serious. Just ask the Japanese jeweler who fashioned a gold Godzilla selling for some $1.24 million. No word if it has been sold or whether any Mothras were harmed in its production.

10. The collected works of American Antiques and Jewelry

We started with Tiffany; here is the other end of the spectrum. I’ve probably spend more on lunches than this Green Bay, Wis., pawn shop spent on these ads. But they are fun, get your attention, and show that the spirit of film director Ed Wood is alive and well and making jewelry commercials in Wisconsin.

Anything I missed? What was your favorite?

JCK News Director