De Beer's holiday ad series, an unprecedented double-spend blitz, delivers a masterpiece of ju-jitsu persuasion: It's a recession, so buy diamonds.
One ad from the series, headlined "Fewer, Better Things" captures the psychology:
"Perhaps now is an opportunity to reassess what really matters. After all, if everything you ever bought her disappeared overnight, what would she truly miss?"
Below the minimal, starkly-styled text, huge, gorgeous diamond earrings.
You've gotta hand it to the present day Don Draper who cast this lifeline toward a gutted industry. Don did his research well. I do want fewer things of higher quality, and carats trump costume. But I rankled at the patronizing "everything you ever bought her". Isn't this the same industry who in boom times encouraged women to buy their own stones? What happened? Suddenly we're all retro and it's over to the guy, who hardly needs the pressure now.
One of my favourite ads from the flush '90s featured dazzling earrings with the cheeky caption, "Why wait for one man to buy you a ring when you can get yourself a pair of studs?"
Here's a rewrite of that ad:
Times are tough, but here's some ice
Sorry I took my broker's advice!
Catfood, trailer, here we come
But on your ears, yum yum yum!
If you're interested in learning about the deep turmoil in the diamond world, visit Janus Thinking and click on "Diamond Industry."