My 10 Favorite Jewelry Promotions of 2015

Every year, I like to spotlight some of the coolest, most innovative promotions of the year, from jewelers and companies both large and small. This year may be the best crop yet.

10. The Alex and Ani app

I downloaded Alex and Ani’s app just for news purposes, intending to look at it for a few days and then delete it. Yet, even though I’m way out of the target demo, I found it well worth keeping around. It is updated (daily!) with motivational quotes and stories, and whether you believe in astrology, it’s fun to check out your daily horoscope, just like it used to be fun to do that in the newspaper. (Told you I was out of the demo.) This app doesn’t just to try to sell you jewelry—although it is happy to do that. It is geared more toward expressing the personality of, and letting consumers interact with, the brand. I’m not the only one who is impressed—according to Digiday, in its first month, it has seen 75,000 downloads, a figure the company didn’t expect to reach for six or seven months.

 

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(Photo courtesy of Alex and Ani)

9.  Tiffany & Co.: Will You?

In last week’s holiday ad roundup, one panelist pointed to this 60-second spot as a more effective Tiffany commercial than the one under discussion. I agree. This is beautiful, touching, and unlike some of Tiffany’s advertising, completely relatable—as well as not shy about spotlighting a same-sex couple.

8. Jaffe Jewelers: “Larry Jaffe for Jeweler”

Sometimes the best marketing ideas are the simplest. But when the owner of Jaffe Jewelers in Kettering, Ohio, put up 300 mock-campaign signs around town that read “Larry Jaffe for Jeweler,” he had no idea the stir it would cause. “We have gotten the most results for the smallest amount of money in many years,” he told the local TV station. “I had people walking up to me at a black-tie event…saying, ‘Are you Larry Jaffe? I’ll vote for Jaffe for jeweler.’ It’s been more fun than I ever imagined.”

 

7. El Paseo Jewelers: Auctioning off the ring Doris Payne stole

At this point, it is almost boring to hear about Doris Payne’s latest jewel theft. (And yes, after six decades, the 85-year-old is still at it.) But as we reported last week, at least one of her far-too-numerous victims—Raju Mehta of El Paseo Jewelers in Palm Desert, Calif.—has turned the experience into a plus, by auctioning the ring she stole for a worthy local charity, the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children. This is a clever and thoughtful way to handle an unpleasant situation, as well as a reminder of the important role jewelers play in their local communities. Many in the industry have mixed emotions about Payne’s status as a minor folk hero; Mehta’s gesture helps those who truly deserve to be celebrated.

6. ArtCarved: Re-Proposal Contest

We have all seen best proposal contests. ArtCarved may be the first to reward the worst. The rules went like this: Share the story of your screwed-up question-popping, and the winner will have a chance to win an ArtCarved ring for a re-proposal. The contest received more than 600 entries; as you can imagine, the entries were both strange and hilarious. (One man, for example, proposed while on the toilet.) The winner shared a bizarre story of a hijacked proposal where the man didn’t even get a chance to pop the question. A reference to Kayne West’s infamous interruption at the 2009 Video Music Awards “totally sold it for us,” says Roxanne Rabasco, director of integrated marketing and communications for Frederick Goldman, which owns ArtCarved.

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(Photo courtesy of Frederick Goldman)

5. Blue Nile: It’s Your Life. Be Engaged

There are many opinions about Blue Nile’s scary jeweler ad (which has aired on targeted TV like Hulu). But I haven’t heard from anyone who doesn’t adore this truly stunning spot (which for now is only online). It is sweet where the other is sour, mature where the other is juvenile, and where the other tries to be scary, this is just scary good. Even the jewelry is weaved in smartly and elegantly. 

4. Long’s Jewelers: Selfie

I don’t want to spoil this great commercial from Long’s Jewelers, a five-store chain based in Boston. But it shows what can be accomplished with a (seemingly) limited budget and genuinely clever idea. Bonus points for using a voice-over with a distinctly local accent.

3. Stanley Jewelers: The cutting of the Esperanza  

So much of marketing is recognizing opportunities. When the 8.52 ct. Esperanza (Spanish for hope) diamond was found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark., nearby Stanley Jewelers was able to track it down and turn its transformation into an event. In November, Embee Diamonds Technologies’ Mike Botha cut the stone in-store, as crowds of locals and media watched. Yes, many independent jewelers are struggling, but events like this—which provide the local community with a once-in-a-lifetime experience—give you esperanza.

2. Pandora: The Unique Connection

I can’t recall a jewelry commercial ever going viral like this one from Pandora (17 million views!). What makes this spot special is that it’s part commercial, part reality show: Can the blindfolded kids tell their mothers apart? At times it’s nerve-racking to watch, even though—spoiler—all the kids get it right on-screen, and apparently off. The brand’s spokesperson assures me “all the blindfolded children recognized their mothers. No actors, no staging, no spin. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

1. Cartier: Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

If this amazing commercial featured nothing more than the cool genre-hopping cover of the classic song—complete with customized Cartier lyrics—it would still be great. But pair that with incredible photography, a night sky filled with diamonds, a gem-studded Ferris wheel, beautiful shots of Paris, plus appearances by the brand’s signature panther, and it’s no wonder it has 8.3 million views—which, by the way, tops just about every entry in this list of top viral commercials this quarter. Ad of the year. 

Any I missed?

This will be my last blog post of the year. Thanks to all of JCK’s readers. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016.

JCK News Director