REAL IS RARE CAMPAIGN. The durability of a diamond, symbolic of the life-long commitment that marriage brings, had been fiercely promoted by De Beers. Recognising that competitors in the diamond industry were free-riding off the back of their marketing campaign, De Beers halted their advertising efforts. Since then, marketing to the public has been little to none. As a result, there has been a lack of expressed interest amongst millennials. Considering that a younger customer segment offers lifetime value opportunities, leaving this market untapped would be a grave mistake.

The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), formed by market leaders including the likes of De Beers and Rio Tinto, aims “to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds”. To investigate the seemingly puzzling nature of millennials and their views on the diamond market, the DPA budgeted $5-$10 million to take action and answer the question, ‘Are millennials even interested?’

Results illustrated that while there was resounding interest from millennials, the segment had little interaction or experience with the industry. For the digitally-minded consumer relying on social media and online touchpoints for purchase decisions, the old-fashioned industry was failing to deliver. The findings also revealed changed views on the institution of marriage. In comparison to ‘our grandparents’ generation’, the concept of marriage is increasingly becoming considered ‘outdated’ – particularly in Western societies. The bashing of gender stereotypes and the rise of the ‘Independent Millennial’ have contributed to a delay in marriage. These valuable insights present a challenging task for marketers. Traditionally, the first interaction a consumer has with a diamond is prior to engagement. If millennials are postponing marriage – if marrying at all – how can a stone so closely associated with marriage be marketed?

The ‘Real is Rare’ campaign, comprised of three separate clips, tackles this question boldly and daringly. Wanting to relate to the younger consumer, the campaign portrays a modern-day representation of romance. Identifying the US as the market containing the highest number of potential millennial customers, the DPA tailored the marketing activity to the US audience.  Additionally, the campaign addresses the rise of artificial diamonds, encouraging viewers to recognise the rarity and value of ‘real’ diamonds. The videos focus on emotional commitment rather than on traditional proposals. Promoted on digital platforms, the campaign is actively targeting a younger customer base.

‘Wild and Kind’ depicts the emotional turmoil between a young man and woman whose relationship remains intact, driven by raw emotion and commitment. ‘The Runaways’ documents the carefree spirit of a couple ‘on the run’, escaping real-world responsibilities. The final video of the trilogy is set to be released early this year.

Contemporary, different and pertinent (albeit somewhat forced), the Real is Rare campaign’s efforts are clear. The modern twist on a traditional purchase delivers a message which should resonate with the intended audience. While the effectiveness of the campaign remains to be seen, the seismic shift in a seemingly out-dated industry is to be admired.

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