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DPA Annual Budget Rises to $70M

Jan 24, 2018 7:35 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... Funds available for the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) to spend on generic marketing will jump to $70 million this year following an increase in contributions from its members.

The extra cash will enable the organization to grow its US marketing and expand campaigns around the world, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, its CEO, said in an exclusive interview with Rapaport News, during the forthcoming edition of In the Loupe — The Rapaport Diamond Podcast.

“Last year, we invested about $50 million in our first real year of investment, which was significant,” Lieberherr (pictured) said. “In 2018, we’re looking at investing about $70 million, which means we’ll be able to slightly increase the level of effort in the US.”

The larger budget will also support the DPA’s first full year of investment in India, where it launched a campaign in November, and kick-start its efforts in China, which are due to begin in April, the executive added. (See below for the recent Indian advertising commercial, “Moving Day.”)

The DPA gets its funding from seven miners who established it in 2015, chiefly De Beers and Alrosa. Its annual spending power has grown from just $6 million in 2016, when it launched its marketing efforts.

The group invested 90% of its 2017 budget in the US last year, resulting in about one billion “paid impressions,” referring to the number of times a sponsored item appeared on someone’s web browser. It spent $15 million in the fourth quarter, including on short video advertisements ahead of the holidays.

The DPA will spend about $40 million on paid media in the US this year. Next month, it will partner with broadcasters for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, aiming to capitalize on potential parallels between the sporting event and the diamond industry.

“The approach I’ve taken with the DPA is let’s start small, let’s demonstrate how much value we’re creating, let’s build our capabilities, and as we do, let’s increase our investment,” Lieberherr commented in the podcast, which will be published this week.

The DPA aims to improve consumers’ impression of diamonds over the long term, rather than boost retailers’ revenues in the immediate future, Lieberherr noted. For that reason, it will spread its spending fairly evenly across the year, rather than splurging it all on a holiday campaign.

“Our role is not to drive sales during holiday seasons — that’s what brands and retailers do,” the former Rio Tinto diamonds chief explained. “Our role is to create fertile, emotional territory through [an] ongoing presence and an ongoing dialogue with consumers throughout the year. All this while we build our organization, we build our capabilities. We’re not here for the next one, two, three years, we’re here for the next couple of decades to really have an impact on the industry.”
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Tags: Advertisements, advertising, Alrosa, China, De Beers, Diamond Producers Association, Dpa, generic marketing, In the Loupe, India, Joshua Freedman, marketing, paid media, Rio Tinto, The Rapaport Diamond Podcast, US, Winter Olympics
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