Uneven diamond demand led De Beers to create its first “category-driving” campaign in seven years, company executives tell JCK.
“As we have seen the year play out, we have seen overall growth looking more flat than we anticipated at the start of the year,” says De Beers executive vice president of global sightholder sales, Paul Rowley. “We needed to do something to boost the category. So in addition to marketing for the Forevermark, we have decided to do something in a more sort of generic direction.”
The ads, patterned after De Beers’ old “Seize the Day” campaign, will run this holiday in print, digital, and in outdoor public spaces. (The original was black on white, but the updated version will use Forevermark’s white-on-black color scheme.)
The campaign will run on top of De Beers’ standard campaign for its Forevermark diamond brand. A similar effort is being executed in China.
De Beers spokesperson David Johnson stresses that the campaign “isn’t really category marketing in the traditional sense. It will still feature the Forevermark logo and drive awareness for the brand, but it is looking at a broader audience segment than the existing Forevermark campaign in order to stimulate demand as widely as possible.”
The ads that JCK has seen include a “happy holidays from Forevermark” sign-off, though that might be tweaked.
“The campaign strategically kills two birds with one stone,” adds Forevermark US president, Charles Stanley. “It helps to support the overall category while having additional benefits to Forevermark.”
Stanley declined to put a price tag on the new category-driving campaign but says it is “roughly equal” to its Forevermark ad spend, which he also declined to specify. He says the two campaigns complement each other—the Forevermark campaign includes a video commercial that will run on TV and online, while the generic campaign has no video component.
“They are both significant multimedia campaigns,” he says. “It’s the sort of levels that you would expect from De Beers. For this to be effective, it has to cut through the clutter at holiday. We looked back to the things that were successful in the past and asked: How we can bring that back in a new way?”
The campaign will also include De Beers’ famed “A Diamond Is Forever” slogan, which had previously been reserved for Forevermark.
Executives say they don’t know if the campaign will continue past this holiday, though Rowley suggests that the fledging Diamond Producers Association might pick up its banner.
“This is a decision that De Beers has taken on unilaterally,” says Stanley. “It demonstrates the leadership role it still holds.”