Q&A: World Gold Council’s Sally Morrison Talks to JCK About LoveGold

Love gold jewelry? Well, so does LoveGold, an online, consumer-facing destination that was quietly debuted by the World Gold Council last spring. Sally Morrison, director of jewelry and public relations for WGC, chatted with JCK recently about the initiative and its goal.

JCK: What is LoveGold?

Sally Morrison: LoveGold is one of the World Gold Council’s initiatives and a digital destination that is consumer facing. We are endeavoring to talk to consumers about the gold category directly. The LoveGold brand is a showcase of beautiful jewelry from big brands to almost-unknown designers who are interested in high-quality craftsmanship. LoveGold is a destination to have a conversation about those beautiful things.

JCK: Why is there a need for LoveGold?

SM: I believe that we are fulfilling a need. Younger consumers take so much of their input and advice from the digital environment, where there is no place at all that’s just about gold. (If you Google gold, the results will be the less friendly and less positive parts of the industry.) So we are testing and learning to see what resonates with consumers; we want LoveGold to be aspirational.

JCK: When did WGC debut LoveGold?

SM: We started in social media during the Golden Globes in January, and the platform went live at the end of March. (We had a live-stream broadcast during the Cannes Film Festival.) So far, we have more than 250,000 followers across social media platforms (including 30,000 as @LoveGoldLive on Twitter and 166,892 on a LoveGold Facebook page), and this has grown organically; consumers are interested in the content. We put out content to them, and the conversation about gold is resonating with them. That audience wants to play and engage.

JCK: What was the debut like during Cannes?

SM: Carine Roitfeld participated in a gold fashion show for the amfAR Gala 2013, and we live streamed it on our platform. We had so many people watching! And this produced hundreds of hours of content and images that were retweeted. Karlie Kloss wore a necklace from the Azva by World Gold Council collection of 22k gold jewelry, sold in India, on the runway as a headdress; it was fun to see bridal jewelry be restyled as a crown, and then for one of the greatest supermodels right now to wear it! The whole activity and conversation grew our community, and most importantly, consumers engaged. We are more interested in engagement than passive followers, and we have been super successful from that point of view.

JCK: What sorts of gold jewels were featured during that event?

SM: We had some special pieces for that show, like cuffs from Eddie Borgo and Waris, who showed us some of the best that gold can be: powerful, impactful, high-karat icons.

JCK: LoveGold has been collaborating with quite a few bloggers, including Orange Juice and Biscuits’ Jonathan Valdez. Why?

SM: Under the aegis of LoveGold, we’re working with a number of different bloggers—some around events, some with specific collections and designers, and some for specific pieces like films or photo shoots. And, some come to us and some we approach, but all help us reach that younger generation.

For example, photographer Jamie Beck shot a full fashion feature for us, just for our platform. And, we are very interested in covering events with a different point of view and through the eye of fine jewelry. Some we have to pay expenses for, and there are production costs sometimes as well (the bloggers can’t do everything for nothing).

JCK: Do you consider this content to fall under the category of a marketing expense?

SM: These collaborations aren’t structured that way. Do I consider a piece of content on our site as marketing? It’s more like paying to produce editorial, so I’m not sure that I would think of it as a marketing cost. I consider our content to be editorial, but in some cases, the pieces on our site represent a mix of 50 percent content that is exclusive to us, and another half that is on a partners’ site. All of it helps build our LoveGold community.

Cuff in 18k gold by Waris for LoveGold

Geometric cuff in 18k gold, $42,000; House of Waris for LoveGold at MUSE

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