The DTC has revamped its right-hand-ring campaign—with ads that have a softer tone and, possibly, a broader range of designs than its initial launch.
When the campaign kicked off in September 2003, many disliked the designs that resulted from the DTC specifications (negative space and a north-south orientation). As a result, many considered it a disappointment.
But S. Lynn Diamond, executive director of the Diamond Promotion Service, says the campaign stimulated demand for nonbridal diamond jewelry, whether or not the specific designs featured in the ads did well.
“I can’t tell you how many retailers said to me, ‘Right-hand rings aren’t selling but my nonbridal-ring sales have soared,'” she says. “We launched this campaign to help grow the nonbridal-ring category. We put a name on a category. If retailers’ diamond-fashion-ring business is growing, regardless of what designs they have stocked, then we think they are having success with the right-hand-ring campaign.”
She notes that nonbridal-ring sales grew 15 percent in value in 2004, after years of stagnancy. “That’s huge,” she says. “I would like to have people see that as the result of the right-hand-ring campaign.”
The new campaign will feature designs similar to the first execution, although these new pieces were created by designers, and she thinks they will be better received. She notes that future ads will feature a broader range of designs, and she urges the trade to open its mind about what constitutes a right-hand ring.
“The designs that we developed were never meant to define the outside parameters of the right-hand ring,” she says. “The trade has taken us extremely literally. We want people to look beyond those criteria.
“Almost anything can be part of this campaign,” she continues. “We are trying to create a category and we want jewelers to carry an assortment. The whole idea of the right-hand ring is for women to find something that expresses them.”
She says retailers should begin to call all their diamond fashion rings “right-hand rings” and that “almost anything” can fall into the category. Although she notes, “We’d like it to be not the same-old, same-old and to have a fresh feel that evokes our campaign. There ought to be a freshness and contemporary look to it.”
The other big change in the campaign is in tone. The campaign’s ads, debuting this summer, have a somewhat softer feel than last year’s. While the initial execution featured stern-looking models in evening wear ready to “rock the world,” one new execution features a sweater-clad homebody whose big message is: “I Love Me, Too.”
“The first round of ads was very fashion forward and some thought a little hard-edged,” Diamond says. “That was for a purpose. When you are launching a new campaign you need to make a statement. We were aiming at women who are very fashion forward and looking for something new. It certainly caught people’s attention.”
“The second round of ads is a little softer,” she says. “They are a little more accessible to a somewhat broader audience.”
The new ads will appear in such publications as Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Elle, InStyle, Vogue, and W. The photos were shot by noted photographer Craig McDean.