De Beers to Spend More Ad Money at Christmas

De Beers has committed to laying out some extra advertising money in the U.S. market this holiday, but not for standard generic promotions. Instead, the money will go to what spokeswoman Louise Prior calls “a special allocation” of co-op marketing funds.

“These financial contributions will help support marketing initiatives with the sightholders’ chosen downstream partners to grow consumer demand for diamond jewelry during the last quarter of this year,” Prior says.

De Beers has said a larger percentage of its generic marketing budget than usual will go toward holiday marketing, although that budget is less than previous years’ budgets.

The company plans more online advertising. It will buy search engine keywords as well as e-mail advertising and online banners, all designed to drive people to ADiamondIsForever.com.

It also plans to rerun last year’s Drive Home commercial, which De Beers’ U.S. marketing manager Janet Sussens calls one of the best-testing Christmas ads the company has ever done. The commercial advertises Journey jewelry, but a later version may promote ear studs.

“When our team went to trade shows, there was huge interest in featuring ear studs,” Sussens says. “Our team reckons that ear studs will be a big item this Christmas. So we are looking at doing a version that features them.”

In general, Journey “will be about 25 percent of what we show,” Sussens says, “but otherwise, it’s back to the old classics: ear studs, solitaire necklaces, and the other beacons we’ve been spotlighting.”

The company hopes to do more publicity-generating events along the lines of the large A Diamond Is Forever slogan made of roses it installed earlier this year at New York’s Grand Central Station.