Imperial Pearl aims to step into the consumer spotlight with the debut of a new lifestyle campaign featuring Olivia Culpo, former Miss Universe.
With more than 1 million Instagram followers, Culpo serves as a pretty and well-known podium for the East Providence, R.I.–based pearl brand’s lustrous creations to shine.
“This is a logical next step to grow the Imperial brand,” explains Kathy Grenier, director of marketing and merchandising. “Imperial is ready to be more out in the consumer world.”
To help Imperial achieve that goal, the company enlisted Atom Media Group, also based in Rhode Island, to help create the tools to make the campaign a success. (Atom’s CEO hails from the agency responsible for helping to put Alex and Ani on the jewelry map.)
Realizing pearl’s momentum in the market through independent designers (“Saved by the Shell: Why Pearl Sales Are Soaring”), fashion (think Lupita Nyong’o’s pearl gown), and home decor, Imperial decided the time was right for its first-ever lifestyle campaign.
“So many people are discovering pearl,” explains Grenier. “And the designs in pearl jewelry today mirror everything else that’s happening. Pearls are trendy, classic, and available in different varieties. Everything popular can be interpreted in pearl.”
Imperial’s campaign is unique in that it aims to drive traffic directly to its retail partners who can use the images in marketing efforts. Placements of store ads in regional lifestyle magazines and on websites will give efforts teeth on a local level depending on accounts’ preferences and media budgets.
“We’re making a blueprint and analyzing what is successful,” adds Grenier.
A consistently successful component of Imperial’s business is working with core partner retailers to promote education and awareness. For example, Grenier recently worked with a store in Florida on a pearl-specific event.
To Imperial, lifestyle ads mean helping consumers to identify with others. According to Grenier, Imperial conducted ad campaigns in the 1950s with actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor and Lucille Ball. The brand’s selection of Culpo was deliberate in that she a modern beauty who is still friendly and approachable and “was able to convey everything we wanted to express about pearls,” adds Grenier. Then’s there’s a local hook as well: Culpo is from Rhode Island, as is Atom, and of course, so is Imperial Pearl.
“There are so many awesome tie-ins,” enthuses Grenier.
And then there is the ad messaging, including jewelry styles selected. Culpo is shown in a number of different scenarios loaded up with pearls and each time is depicted as sexy, fun, trendy, and classic. Her presence and demeanor is about an attitude and sense of style.
“Pearls have a way of addressing subjects in ways that words don’t need to be spoken,” observes Grenier. “We are not showing specific products but are instead showing pearls—lots of pearls.” (To be fair, a few trendy rings are evident in a few shots.)
Perhaps the most compelling reveal of the campaign’s imminent success? Within a month’s time, 27 retailers have already reached out to Imperial for more information upon receiving word of the campaign in a company e-blast.
Olivia Culpo, former Miss Universe, in a 2016 lifestyle campaign from Imperial
Imperial’s campaign largely features strands though a few trendy rings are evident here.
Golden pearls get a nod in Imperial’s lifestyle campaign.
Happy girls wear pearls.
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