De Beers Gets the Millennium Bug

Don’t look now, but the year 2000 is just around the corner. And along with talk of computer bugs, New Year’s blow-outs, and would-be apocalypses, be prepared for a tidal wave of hype. But where many of us just see a big date change, De Beers senses a unique opportunity. The company is sinking millions of dollars – exactly how many has yet to be determined – into a “Diamonds for the Millennium” campaign. The expense will be above its normal advertising outlay. At first, such a campaign sounds trite, similar to M&Ms’ pitch for “candy for the next millennium.” But De Beers executives argue that diamonds are uniquely positioned to benefit from the big calendar flip. After all, not many products have been around since the last millennium, as diamonds have. “The millennium is a unique opportunity for diamonds and De Beers,” notes Mary Walsh, marketing director fo
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