JCK Reviews This Year’s Holiday Jewelry Commercials

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:

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.

This Zale ad, by contrast, struck me as much fresher. And it spotlights product!

Twitter friends liked it too:

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:

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.

Twitter says:

Thanks to everyone on Twitter who offered their opinions. What do the rest of you think?

JCK News Director