DEF Catches Consumer Attention

Thanks to a new public-service announcement airing on cable television and online, consumer awareness of the Diamond Empowerment Fund has grown exponentially in a matter of weeks.

The Public Service Announcement, created pro-bono by J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and supported with $1 million of airtime donated by De Beers, launched June 23 on a variety of national cable channels including A&E, Bravo, Discovery, Food Network, HOME, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, USA, VH1, and The Weather Channel. Additionally, the spot can be seen online on YouTube. To see the spot, click here:

Since the PSA’s debut on June 23rd, traffic to DEF’s Web site has increased by 2,000 percent, says Ellen Haddigan, DEF executive director. Prior to the PSA, the site averaged 60 visits per day; since the PSA launched it is averaging nearly 1,500 visits per day. At press time, 24,000 people had visited the DEF website during the 2-1/2-week period since the spot launched. Haddigan also said the first week’s broadcast on television was calculated to have had approximately 19 million impressions.

Additionally, CPX interactive, an on-line advertising agency, provided pro bono banner ads for DEF. When clicked, the ads took people directly to the PSA, embedded in www.diamondempowerment.org. There were 12 million impressions the first week it ran, and DEF estimates 14,000 visitors came though that way.

Another 4,000 people have viewed the spot on YouTube, and Haddigan says they may have then gone to the DEF Web site to learn more, but the organization doesn’t have a way to track visitors coming from YouTube to the site.

The PSA was also posted on Russell Simmons’s MySpace page. A notice was sent to the more than 108,000 people he is connected to, but Haddigan says there’s also no way to calculate how many watched the PSA on MySpace, or how many then visited the site. The same is true for DEF’s Facebook, MySpace and Global Grind postings.

“They have had an [additional] impact, we’re just not exactly sure how much,” she said. “We will continue tracking this over the coming weeks, and especially we will be looking to see if it has an impact with any of the retailers in terms of increased sales of the Green Bracelet.” (See “The Little Green Bracelet that Could,” June JCK).

Simmons, the hip-hop mogul/philanthropist behind the DEF, recently went to South Africa to address the De Beers sightholder conference. He visited with the students of CIDA City Campus, the beneficiary school of the DEF, and the Maharishi Institute, a new school affiliated with CIDA that is being piloted right now. He blogged about his trip on the Huffington Post, which can be accessed here: