Diamonds: Fanning desire, upholding retro roles

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 t
he 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.

ne 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."


Susan B said…
I like your ad better, LOL!

The only diamonds I own are in my engagement/wedding ring, and those were all inherited (my husband's family believes in recycling gems). I have a pair of CZ studs that everyone thinks are real, and I tend to lose earrings, so I'm not in a hurry to shell out for diamonds when there are so many lovely stones that aren't so over-inflated. If I did buy some, it would probably be in the form of estate jewelry.
materfamilias said…
Great ad you wrote, Duchesse.
I've often been irked by jewelry ads and so pleased by the Raise your Right hand campaign. That said, I was happy enough to have Pater give me diamond studs last Christmas -- my first diamonds ever as I only wanted a plain gold band when we got married. I'm really happy with the studs (now that's a fun phrase!), but otherwise I tend to echo Pseu's sentiments).
Duchesse said…
materfamilias: I liked the Right Hand campaign too; designers were asked to create pieces that looked "nothing like an engagement ring." I prefer old-cut diamonds and am happy that people who want new ones can Buy Canadian, conflict-free stones.

Pseu: Yes you can get some fantastic coloured stones for far less!

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