Rapaport Magazine

Real Is Rare

The Diamond Producers Association released its new “Real is Rare” communication campaign with a mission to change the way Millennials think about diamonds.

By Amber Michelle
Still from “Real Is Rare: Wild & Kind” 60-second commercial.
“To be relevant we must create a new and real emotional connection to diamonds for Millennials who are a few years away from their peak earnings,” states Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO, Diamond Producers Association (DPA). He made this remark during a presentation at a gala rooftop party at the Rockefeller Center 620 Loft & Garden on an early October evening as the DPA unveiled its new “Real is Rare” videos designed to create diamond desire in Millennials.
   “In today’s digital world, finding something real is rare and worth celebrating with something equally special and pure... a diamond,” comments Peter Ravailhe, CEO of creative agency Mother New York.
   The DPA, an alliance of seven of the largest international mining firms, collaborated with Mother New York to develop the “Real is Rare” videos. The two videos — each in 60-, 30- and 15-second formats — use a storytelling approach that follows two different couples on their unique journey of love. The narrative in the videos is about real love and how rare it is to find. The couples discuss the emotions of love. Will it last? Is it real? The couples express doubts about their relationship and explore the connection that is between them and what makes it real. They are voicing a love that is authentic to them.
   Lieberherr notes that there are 80 million Millennials in the U.S., representing the largest part of the population. They are key to the growth of the diamond and jewelry industry, but they have been less exposed to diamond advertising than previous generations and they need to be reminded of the emotional reasons to buy a diamond.
   A key difference in the “Real is Rare” campaign from previous campaigns is that it is not product driven; there is no beacon product. Instead, it is more about the emotional meaning of the diamond. That being said, there are basic pieces of jewelry in the ads — eternity bands or diamond solitaire necklaces — that can be found in most retail stores.
A New View
   “This campaign marks a beautiful and audacious shift in how we talk about authentic connections in a way that recognizes the diversity of love,” says Ravailhe.
   The concept for the videos came out of two primary points in marketing research that was commissioned earlier this year by DPA. Lieberherr cites these insights that drove the creative for the campaign. “Millennials love the idea of diamonds as authentic; diamonds are billions of years in the making. But they relate less to established rituals of love and commitment,” he explains. “At the same time, Millennials crave genuine, meaningful relationships in an increasingly digital world.”
   According to DPA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Marquardt, the storytelling approach of the videos is important because storytelling is hardwired into our DNA. She points out that since Millennials have a very low tolerance for ads, “to break through to Millennials you must be disruptive. Storytelling is a key way to circumvent low tolerance for ads.”

The Campaign
   The “Real is Rare” campaign launched on social media in mid-October. The plan will combine broadcast and digital television, advertising on social media channels and digital radio.
   The television spots will be on networks with a large Millennial audience. Bravo and E! will be targeted and the spots will be on shows such as “Ben and Lauren,” “Below Deck” and of course, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” There will also be audience buys on Hulu and YouTube.
   There will be custom content on Refinery29.com and Bustle.com, both of which target Millennials. There will be videos and articles about commitment and what makes a relationship real. Instagram and Facebook will feature targeted advertising and there will be advertising on radio app Pandora.
   Marquardt also notes that a high-profile influencer will soon be signed to help spread the “Real is Rare” message. A dedicated website RealisaDiamond.com will give consumers more information. It will also have a link to the Jewelers of America (JA) store locator to help consumers find jewelers who offer high-quality, ethically sourced diamonds.
   The DPA offers fact sheets with talking points for retailers on how to answer frequently asked questions about diamonds. The fact sheets are broken down into two sets — one that answers questions about what makes a diamond real and the other addresses what makes a diamond rare.

Going Forward
   While the DPA launched its first campaign right before the holiday season, Lieberherr adds that the push to build diamond desire will continue after the holidays. “We will have ads after the holidays to create a dialogue about diamonds,” he said during a visit to the Rapaport Magazine offices the day after the campaign launch. “We have to make diamonds part of a different conversation.”
   The DPA had a $12 million budget for 2016 and Lieberherr expects that budget to be amped up for 2017. “All the players realize the need to increase funding. The focus will be on the U.S. market. Then we will start understanding how to adapt to the markets in India and China. Most likely we will enter those markets in the next two years,” he explained during the same visit.
   While at the Rapaport Magazine offices, Lieberherr also talked about an initiative in which the DPA will work with key jewelry retailers and members of the trade to “help bring ‘Real is Rare’ to life.” They will all work together to ensure that the meaning of the message is established.
   “‘Real is Rare’ is not about creating short-term sales,” concluded Lieberherr. “It is about creating long-term diamond demand; it is about return on equity in brand investment.”

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - November 2016. To subscribe click here.

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