Behind the World Gold Council’s New Bridal Campaign

In a recent interview about the World Gold Council’s new bridal campaign—“Gold Makes It a Marriage”—David Lamb, managing director of jewelry for the WGC, spoke to JCK about the reason for the strategy now. (Also stay tuned for another article on the topic in the October issue.) The following are a few of his talking points.

David Lamb, managing director of jewelry for the World Gold Council

David Lamb, managing director of jewelry for the World Gold Counci

On the inspiration for the campaign:

“To support jewelers in America—we didn’t want to lose another year. WGC is concerned about gold in bridal, and it’s critical, I think, to aid the physical gold business but also to drive home an emotional claim for every consumer to buy gold rings.”

 

On the timing of the campaign:

“The one thing the recession has done is to make people question their priorities. Gold wedding rings represent value over a lifetime; that’s the central importance of those rings, and that’s the fight that we ask American retailers to join us in. The cost of gold is challenging, but the rings still probably cost less than the wedding cake. Remind people that the bands are not just more items to buy on a wedding-day checklist—they’re a symbol of the importance of the marriage.”

 

On contemporary metals in the bridal category:

“While gold accounts for a large share of women’s rings, WGC would like to reverse the trend of contemporary metals like tungsten, particularly in men’s bands. Tungsten rings hit a price point and look good, but men settle for tungsten, and the future of the jewelry industry is dependent on how people understand precious metals. We absolutely know that women have a dominant influence in ring buying, but men are getting a leftover budget. In terms of women’s bands, according to research from TheKnot.com, 70 percent of ring sales come from white gold and 8 percent is from yellow gold. Purchases of men’s bands—especially for men in their late 30s—is largely represented by contemporary metals. That’s a wake-up call. If women are choosing gold for themselves, then men should, too.”

 

On ground lost in bridal to contemporary metals:

“Tungsten is the leader in contemporary metals, and our strongest competition is the ignorance we’ve created. The enemy is apathy, and not knowing the story of gold and its history. Roman bands have been discovered that are over 2,000 years old; we have under-marketed a fantastic story—the notion of gold as the ultimate high-performance metal. We need to restore the voice of the meaning of gold, and not just be focused on the price.”

 

On comparing the cost of gold and platinum:

“The price difference has narrowed in troy ounces, but there’s still a premium on the metal. We coexist with platinum; they have their own claim based on purity and performance, but to me, the stance I want to take in this market is not to scrap it out with platinum, but to be a friend and an ally in understanding the consumer and helping them to re-establish their priorities when it comes to purchasing bridal jewelry. Jewelers must get out the message that there are precious and nonprecious metals. We’ve been too silent for too long about the differences. There is space for both metals in jewelry.”

 

On similarities between selling gold and selling diamonds [Lamb previously worked in the diamond industry]:

“I’m not sure it is different, or should be different. We’re all in the same business—selling precious things. In a recessionary world, there is a deeper realization that people are buying fewer but better things. Perhaps we should be thinking about how we might join voices, to pitch fine jewelry as items sold by experts who understand what they’re selling?”

 

On his trilogy concept for gold [Lamb created the “Past, Present, Future” campaign during his time at the Diamond Trading Company]

“I haven’t got one in my pocket but I want to do one! I first want to get WGC back into the American market, so it’s active, helpful, and listening. To me the importance establishing gold at the point of marriage is to see how the market shapes and see where pockets of opportunity develop; it would be great to find something like that for gold.”

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