New York, NY—In the first 12 months of its generic diamond advertising—June 2017 to June 2018—the Diamond Producers Association’s inaugural paid media campaigns garnered 1.5 billion media impressions among its target audience of consumers age 21-34.
DPA spent $40 million on the campaigns. Television and digital video (43%) and digital and social media (42%) were the major focus of investment. Print (10%) and strategic out-of-home placements including cinema (5%) rounded out the mix. On average, the media reached 98% of its core audience 20 times over the course of the 12 months.
As a result of those metrics, the DPA board of directors has approved an increase in DPA’s annual global budget from $40 million to $70 million, of which $50 million will be spent in the United States in paid media, PR programs, research, education and advocacy initiatives.
According to an independent cross-media study by Kantar Millward Brown (KMB), each individual channel played a role in driving positive perceptions of, and affinity for, diamonds. Sentiments such as favorability, interest in acquisition, and love for diamonds increased significantly.
In terms of creative effectiveness, DPA’s latest emotional storytelling assets, “The Other Party” (top of page) and “Reveal,” generated a significant increase in consideration of diamonds for purchase, as well as favorable opinions of diamonds and love for diamonds. Specific metrics include:
Image from DPA's "Reveal" video.
“The creative effectively connected with consumers through emotion-led storytelling that showed diamonds as an authentic symbol of our most precious relationships and meaningful connections,” said Deborah Marquardt, DPA chief marketing officer. “We are very pleased with the results, which confirm we are moving the needle on consumer sentiment. We see desire for diamonds improving, with consumers saying that diamonds are the ultimate gift of love, and an important part of rare and special relationships.”
Speaking at the annual Plumb Club Retailer Breakfast on Saturday in Las Vegas, Marquardt cited encouraging figures from the latest De Beers Insights report. Diamond demand in the United States is up 4% to $43 billion, more than half of total global demand.
“We at DPA are really proud of what we’ve achieved with our first full year funding. These positive diamond impressions are new; they did not exist in 2016. They only add to everything the industry is doing,” she said. Research shows a significant uptick in diamonds being a symbol of a lasting relationship, and DPA wants to expand the definitions of diamond moments and what moments in life call for a diamond.
Marquardt addressed some criticism from skeptics who have never seen the ads being shown. “Today we have an ability to hyper-target ads, so if you’re outside the demographic, we hope you can see them and keep an open mind. We’re not going to move needle by preaching to the converted,” she explained.
Sarah Gorvitz, DPA head of strategic communications and insights, shared some of DPA’s critical findings about female self-purchase of diamond jewelry.
“Women already spend money on themselves with expensive bags, shoes, and spa vacations. We need to make diamonds part of that mix and steal market share from other places. During the holidays, women do purchase for themselves while shopping for others.”
The biggest trend in Las Vegas this year was jewelry geared to female self-purchase. Even renowned bridal brands like Kirk Kara (above) have re-engineered some designs to be self-purchased by women and worn as stackables for fashion.
DPA research found women view diamonds as a long-term investment, and the three main reasons women buy diamonds is to mark an achievement, mark a memory, or simply because they like the piece. As a result of this research, DPA is gearing up to launch an additional campaign for self-purchase in late Q3 2018. It also will continue its existing campaigns through Q4.
Grant Mobley, DPA’s new trade relations lead, said retailer feedback is a central part of DPA planning.
“We’re most excited to announce our very first diamond e-learning platform launching in a few weeks, to give sales associates the information needed to close the sale. It is designed to supplement other diamond learning platforms.” DPA also has worked with Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, to help promote the powerful stories of the good that diamonds do around the world.
Information about all DPA materials and programs jewelers need is on the diamondproducers.com trade portal, said Mobley.
“We make diamonds topical and meaningful 365 days a year. Like you we want to create a reason to learn about and shop for diamonds all year long.
“One way we measure success is through the hashtag #RealIsRare and @realisadiamond. There’s been a five-times increase and we measure ongoing growth every month. #RealIsRare and Real Is A Diamond will have enduring impact if we continue to build. While we’re trying to build desire, we know it’s ultimately you that moves the customer to purchase and repurchase.”
For more information on the communications platform and to view the advertising, visit www.RealisaDiamond.com. Using the hashtag #RealisRare, consumers can join the conversation about "Real is Rare" on social media @RealisaDiamond on Twitter and Instagram, and the "Real is a Diamond" Facebook page and YouTube channel.