It’s holiday time, and of course that means our TVs will be flooded with jewelry commercials. Which brings us to my third annual “Holiday Jewelry Commercial Review.” This year I wanted to critique the ads myself but also gauge reactions from industry folks on Twitter.
Before we start, I’ve noticed, this year especially, that way too many jewelry ads seem to use the same “man gives woman jewelry, woman reacts happily” template. When people from outside the industry start inventing terms like “jewelry-face” to mock this, and The Atlantic begins terming the whole approach “sexist,” it may be time to change things up.
On the other hand, you can’t deny that when the formula is done well, it works. For instance, the big news this holiday is that De Beers is running TV commercials for the first time in years, for its Forvermark brand. And its first ad makes it seem like nothing’s changed. Seriously, it seems like nothing’s changed. Take a look:
Now, even the text of this ad struck me as pretty similar to old De Beers spots. Still, this one has high production values and comports itself classily. De Beers invented this template, and no one does it better. And, if my Twitter feedback is to believed, this ad has won the hearts of America’s women:
@robbatesjck I’ve seen it air. I like. It’s SO DeBeers formula but that works, right? It’s very pretty too. Definitely pulls @ <3 strings 2
— Sparkle4SandyRelief (@Sparkle4Sandy) December 5, 2012
@robbatesjck Finally, a jewelry TV spot that’s about more than just one moment. Love the storytelling. It’s very relatable. Well done.
— Veronica Wei Sopher(@Shih_Wei) December 5, 2012
— Jennifer Heebner (@jenniferheebner) December 6, 2012
I swear that “De Beers formula” comment came about unprompted. And we see the formula again in this Zale ad, where the head marketer is a De Beers account veteran:
Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, in spite of everything I said above, I found this kind of sweet. However, Twitter-ites seemed to comment on everything but what was going on in the commercial. Not a great sign.
@robbatesjck Beach house proposal for a line that’s being introduced during the holidays? So cruel. Upbeat pop song fits in nicely w/brand.
— Lindsey Wojcik (@lindseykwojcik) December 5, 2012
@robbatesjckanother example of a fashion label using their brand awareness to enter the jewellery arena. But is Zales on par with Wang?
— Eric Emms (@ericemms) December 5, 2012
— Melissa Bernardo (@mrbplus) December 5, 2012
This Zale ad, by contrast, struck me as much fresher. And it spotlights product!
Twitter friends liked it too:
@robbatesjck I like it! Lots of color, cute presentation, snappy song. I like that it doesn’t sell romance or promises, but instead fun.
— Brittany Siminitz (@JCKmarketplace) December 7, 2012
— Stephanie Schaefer (@Steph_Schaefer) December 7, 2012
@robbatesjck hit or miss. Clever -> taps into emotions of some groups. Doesn’t refer to guy buying (good!) + short enough to keep attention
— Co-founder Patrick(@farlang) December 7, 2012
@robbatesjck I like that they are bringing colored diamonds to the mass audience. But does the jewelry look like costume pieces? – RM
— Communique (@CommuniqueLA) December 7, 2012
Finally, Signet is once again blanketing the airwaves this year; I’ve seen Jared ads (including one where the jewelry store talks), ads for the Tolkowsky Ideal cut, and a lot of spots for Pandora. Most of them seemed pretty interchangable. Still, this one definitely switches the formula up a bit:
This one has raised a little snark, from Entertainment Weekly and whoever posted the video on YouTube. (Both called “it creepy.”) Personally, I like the recognition that today there are different kinds of families. Otherwise, it really just follows the formula; isn’t that the 8-year-old version of “Jewelry-Face”?
The Twitter feedback seems pretty influenced by the comments on the video:
@robbatesjck I think anything is an improvement on that terrible storm commercial from a couple of years ago.
— Michelle Graff (@michellemgraff) December 6, 2012
@robbatesjck I don’t find it offensive but it IS cheesy. They’re trying to “include” non-traditional families, they just missed the mark.
— Michelle Orman (@Michelle_Orman) December 7, 2012
And here’s another more traditional Kay ad, for the Neil Lane bridal collection:
Like so many Kay/Sterling commercials, this didn’t make much of an impression on me, positive or negative. Whenever I complain about Sterling commercials, as I did last year, I tell myself: They keep bringing them back every year, so they must work on someone. I’m just not the target audience. Still, it really wouldn’t hurt to freshen up the approach.
@robbatesjck Pretty typical, but very disjointed. Looks like they finished the commercial, and then realized they forgot to include Neil
— Miamore Comm (@miamorecomm) December 7, 2012
@robbatesjck Seems logical and well done. Bring in an “unbeatable” designer and make his stuff getable.
— Michael Schechter (@MSchechter) December 7, 2012
@robbatesjck it’s ok I guess. Neil seems a bit thrown in there in the middle of the guy’s “she’s my star” story. What say you?
— BobPhibbs,RetailDoc (@TheRetailDoctor) December 7, 2012
@robbatesjck The sentiment the guy expresses is sweet. And it probably makes sense to have customers aspire to be celebrities.
— idazzle (@idazzle) December 7, 2012
Thanks to everyone on Twitter who offered their opinions. What do the rest of you think?