The Platinum Guild International Breakfast Event, long a tradition at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas, returned after a three-year absence with vibrant Las Vegas flair, beautiful girls, and a hard sell of PGI’s newest marketing promotion—three-ring bridal jewelry, with stronger focus on a platinum wedding ring “for him.”
Hundreds of retailers, designers, manufacturers, guests, and press people attended the event in the Venetian’s Marcello Ballroom, which was decorated to resemble a stylish Vegas club, with tall “Platinum showgirls” in short black outfits and fishnet stockings holding “cigar trays” filled with platinum jewelry. Chairs and tables were covered in PGI white and blue materials, and there were banner black-and-white photos from PGI’s new ad campaign (“Your Love Has Just Gone Platinum”) hanging from the ceiling. A jazz band completed the program.
Huw Daniel, president of PGI-USA, welcomed the audience “to this celebration of platinum” and then turned the stage over to the program’s M.C., Carri Golden, a talented and dynamic Los Angeles singer/entertainer. She quickly grabbed the audience’s attention with a vigorous, jazzy rendition of “Fever,” with lyrics modified for the event (“He don’t buy me gold or silver, he knows its platinum I love to wear.”)
“I’ve learned so much about platinum, I’m thinking of changing my name. Carri Platinum has a nice ring to it,” she joked. Then she led the audience through a fast-paced presentation, which included filmed testimonials from industry professionals—from 15 years ago as well as today—stressing “the importance of platinum in your business and how to make it stronger.”
The PGI Breakfast comes at a time when the cost of platinum is at an all-time high (about $1,300 per troy ounce), with other white metals nibbling at its U.S. business. As a result, retailers and manufacturers must work harder to market it. But only two oblique references to that were made: Golden said, “Even though other metals are trying to climb up to [platinum’s] level, there’s nothing else like platinum for bridal.” And in filmed remarks, James Courage, chief executive officer of the London-based Platinum Guild International, noted that “maintaining the momentum [of platinum’s business] is tough.”
The show focused on promoting PGI’s new three-ring strategy. Up to 40 percent of those who buy platinum engagement rings in a jewelry store buy their wedding rings elsewhere. So Golden, speaking for PGI, urged retailers to set a new standard for platinum sales. “Every engagement ring sale should end with two platinum wedding bands, one for her and one for him. Get him to care about his wedding band.” Focus on the three-ring strategy, she said, and “you’ll see an increase in platinum profit within three months.”
Citing PGI’s various tools to help retailers sell platinum (including the new ad campaign and Internet Web sites, both tagged with regional platinum retailers, starting this fall), Golden urged jewelers to “stock it, promote it, and learn the language to sell it!”
Capping the program was a 25-minute fashion show (projected on two huge screens flanking the runway), with beautiful models in casual and evening apparel, wearing platinum jewelry by various designers.