My 10 Favorite Jewelry Promotions of 2016

This year’s collection of funny, bittersweet, and sometimes hard-to-believe jewelry promotions

As I have for the past four years, I would like to once again celebrate the ingenuity and creativity that still lives in our industry. This year, we have a striking collection of funny, bittersweet, and, in a few cases, hard-to-believe jewelry promotions (and you may not believe who takes the No. 1 spot):  

10. Montblanc, “The Montblanc Story”

It is not easy to make the history of a pen-and-watch company compelling and visually engaging. But this Hugh Jackman–hosted video pulls it off, by working very very hard at it.

 

9. Hyde Park Jewelers, 40 Acts of Kindness

This is how you celebrate a 40th anniversary. In honor of its fourth decade of operation, Denver-based Hyde Park Jewelers didn’t just put on a sale (though it did that too). It did 40 “acts of kindness,” and donated to a range of charities, from the Diamond Empowerment Fund to the conservation advocacy organization Oceana. And it documented it all on social media.

 

8. Jonathan Hutton Raksha, Selling Kanye West a necklace over Twitter

Here is an extremely improbable—but apparently true—story showing the power of social media. Toronto jewelry designer Jonathan Hutton Raksha tweeted at Kanye West that he had designed a 14k gold necklace that said “I Feel Like Pablo”—a nod to the rapper’s latest album, The Life of Pablo—and would sell it to him for $500. To Raksha’s amazement, the star said yes—or at least his stylist did—though West wanted the design to just say “Pablo.” Raksha complied, and the rapper sported the redone piece on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar.

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7. Tiffany & Co., Branded barricades

When life gives you lemons, make barricades. With the commotion around the Trump Tower blocking access to one entrance to its 57th Street flagship, the retailer worked with the New York Police Department to drape its famed robin’s-egg blue over the crowd barriers. It’s not Tiffany’s most glamorous product placement, and it may not make up for the lost business. But you can bet a lot of people are going to see it.  

 

6. Belletto Jewelry, “The Most Beautiful in the World”

Earlier this year, Israeli jewelry brand Belletto, in association with Yated, a local association for Down syndrome, got three women with Down syndrome to display their pieces in an ad campaign. The company said its goal was to show that women with Down syndrome can also be models. All very noble, but does it work as an ad campaign? Take a look.

 

5. Smyth Jewelers, World’s largest engagement ring

It’s a simple, arguably goofy concept: Smyth Jewelers, in conjunction with Uneek Jewelry, decided to build what it calls the world’s biggest engagement ring. Granted, the 17-foot-tall, 14-foot-wide creation, which took a year to fashion, won’t actually be worn by anyone, and therefore it’s arguable whether it can be called a ring. But if you’re driving past Smyth’s showroom in Timonium, Md., and see that leaning against the store, you’ll definitely look twice.

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4. Omega, Terra

It’s one thing to proclaim concern about the climate and the environment; many brands do these days. It’s another for watch brand Omega to sponsor Terra, a 90-minute documentary devoted to the “rich diversity of life.” The exquisitely shot documentary is currently streaming on Netflix, but you can get a taste of it here.

 

3. Mode, “100 Years of Engagement Rings”

This isn’t technically a jewelry promotion, though in a sense it promotes the entire industry. In March, the website Mode released this elegant and surprisingly detailed video chronicling 100 years of engagement rings—from the Art Deco styles of the 1920s to today’s modern solitaires. Featuring some beautiful diamond rings—not to mention some impressive ring boxes—this video has to date received 2.8 million views on YouTube.

 

2. London Jewelers, New designer showcase

Faced with both a business and store layout challenge for their new store at the World Trade Center mall in Manhattan, London Jewelers came up with a clever solution—it worked with the Women’s Jewelry Association to set aside a special showcase for up-and-coming talent, something that the industry clearly needs to nurture. “It will be a fertile testing ground,” said an ecstatic WJA president Brandee Dallow. “The designers will learn a lot. London will learn a lot, too.”

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1. Kay Jewelers, “What Words Can’t Say”

So intimate and raw it’s sometimes painful to watch, this unabashed tearjerker has already racked up 1.6 million views on YouTube and shows what happens when Kay opts for genuine emotion rather than the manufactured version it hauls out every holiday. Tiffany (“Love Is”) and Pandora (“The Unique Thank You”) released similar spots in 2016, both of which were excellent. This is even better. It’s about time America’s top jeweler produced a top ad.

This will be my last blog post of the year. Thanks to everyone for reading! Happy New Year and see you all in 2017.

(Pablo necklace image courtesy of @maisonraksha. World’s largest engagement ring image courtesy of Smyth Jewelers. London Jewelers showcase image courtesy of London Jewelers.)

 

 

JCK News Director