Maybe the Best and Worst Jewelry Ads Ever

If you regularly read my blog, you know that I’m always on the lookout for any trend that relates to consumers’ perception of jewelry. As Thanksgiving arrives and we officially head into the holiday shopping season, I wish to highlight one ad that succeeds brilliantly and another that fails spectacularly in achieving what we can presume to be the objective of the ads: To encourage consumers to shop for a particular item of jewelry.

The Best Ad:


Lucky magazine routinely provides a page of stickers with which a reader can bookmark items of interest in the magazine pages. In the December 2012 issue, Pandora takes the sticker concept to a brilliant level with its two-page ad “Create Your Perfect Bracelet” when it instructs readers: “Peel and place the charms you like from the facing page on the bracelet”  – the bracelet being the one pictured above the instructive text. The instructions continue: “Play around under you get it exactly right. That’s the fun of it all. Bring these pages to your nearest PANDORA retailer. Then take your perfect PANDORA bracelet home.”

How marvelous to encourage an unlimited amount of time to “get it exactly right” and then follow that up with a call to action , to visit a Pandora retailer and purchase the components of the bracelet.  Playing with the images of the jewelry is almost irresistible. Potential purchasers become engaged in the “design” process. There’s a marvelous bit of fun and sense of accomplishment wrapped up in a jewelry purchase.   

The Worst Ad:


“Writer’s block is the perfect time to shop” says purported magazine editor “Kelsey” in this current ad for eBay that appears in Elle magazine. “When it’s on your mind, it’s on” reads the ad copy, directing readers to  Pictured is a distinctive green, yellow and black dress, worn with a goldtone link bracelet.

Sadly, good luck trying to find the bracelet  pictured. Or the dress. I started my search looking for the dress, figuring that locating a green, yellow and black dress would be much easier than locating a specific goldtone bracelet. Go the site as directed in the ad, click on the category “women” and the subcategory “dresses” and you will find over 1.4 million results, but nothing pointing to the dress in the ad. There are 192 green, yellow and black dresses presently listed on eBay, but the dress in the ad was not to be found.

After attempting various searches on eBay for the dress, I phoned the customer service department to seek assistance. While the representative who spoke with me was pleasant and courteous, she was unaware of the ad and unfamiliar with the dress I described to her. She noted that eBay sells nothing directly. She asked for a description of the dress, attempted  additional searches and came up empty-handed. These days, when it is possible to scan in a symbol on a magazine page and be taken to the web site where one can purchase the desired item, the eBay ad falls seriously short.  

However, speaking as one who primarily writes for a living, I can agree with one point of the eBay ad: Writer’s block can indeed precipitate the perfect time to shop.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here’s to a successful holiday shopping season!

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