Selling diamonds are a bit different to other luxury goods, an industry dominated by De Beers and Harry Oppenheimer of South Africa, which used its monopoly powers to stand sentry over international diamond sales for decades.
De Beers decides who gets what at its monthly “sights” or diamond sales, recently after 80 years in London moved from Charter-house Street to Anglo American’s HQ next to St James’s Park as part of debt-cutting drive and the sorting of sight goods to Botswana.
The move ends an era that began in 1889 when Cecil Rhodes, the company’s first chairman, began sending diamonds back from South Africa to a London syndicate of 10 merchants.
The company has since seen its market share decline to about 33% with the rise of Russian producer Alrosa, new discoveries not controlled by De Beers and moves by Rio Tinto in Australia to break away from the status quo.
De Beers had such a grip on the market that it was able to devise a famous long-term marketing plan to unite diamonds with the idea of relationships.
In the 1930s Harry Oppenheimer of De Beers got the New York advertising agency NW Ayer to devise the slogan Diamonds are Forever. It worked. De Beers used that kind of psychology to introduce the idea of a diamond engagement ring into Asian cultures where they were an utterly alien concept.
The Diamond Business is often about thinking things through. That is what the late Harry Oppenheimer did with diamonds decades ago.
Provocative New Diamond Industry Campaign Reflects the Desire for Real Connection in a “Swipe Right” World
The Diamond Producers Association launches its new ‘Real is Rare’ communications platform to reinforce diamonds as a symbolic expression of emotional commitment guided by personal choice, not convention.
Millennials have spoken, and while they may not always follow the traditional paths and relationship rituals of earlier generations, they increasingly seek out authentic, meaningful expressions of love which are rare, and therefore precious, in today’s fast-paced, virtual world. Rooted in this insight, the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) launches “Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond,” a new communications platform that invites consumers to take a fresh look at diamonds as an ideal symbol of sincere, meaningful connections and commitment.
“What is better than a rare and precious billion-year old diamond that is as old as life on Earth to represent the uniqueness and sincerity of a genuine relationship? ’Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond,’ beautifully captures what makes diamonds meaningful in today’s world and why they will always be timeless,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO, DPA.
What makes finding the real thing so rare among couples in contemporary culture?
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), alongside multi-talented actor and producer Nick Cannon, partnered to unlock the magic and mystery behind that question in “Why Real is Rare,” a short documentary film that explores how and when couples realize their connection has become a commitment.
U.S. Millennials, as a generation of more than 80 million, are the cornerstone of current and future diamond consumption. Earlier this year DPA commissioned a significant study of millennial attitudes, behaviors and motivations vis a vis diamonds, love and commitment. Two primary insights inform the core campaign: 1) that in an increasingly digital world, real relationships become more important and valued; and 2) that while they like and desire diamonds, they resist the notion that their relationships must adhere to specific societal norms and rituals. “Real is Rare” aims to connect with the under-35 set in a way that is more personal and emotionally relevant by acknowledging their desire to demonstrate their commitments in a more individualistic, but equally personal and significant, manner than previous generation.
The “Real is Rare” creative spots — developed in collaboration with creative agency, Mother New York, are fueled by raw emotion and a departure from the idealized imagery that has been traditionally associated with diamond advertising. The videos, set in a stunningly beautiful natural setting, speak to the imperfect but inimitable beauty of a real relationship. Each couple, in their own way, discovers and reflects on what makes their relationship real, and therefore rare and precious. The diamonds featured in the films are an expression of the authentic connection between each couple.
“This campaign marks a beautiful and audacious shift in how we talk about authentic connections in a way that recognizes the diversity in love,” says Peter Ravailhe, Chief Executive Officer, Mother New York. “In today’s digital world, finding something real is rare, and worth celebrating with something equally special and pure – a diamond.”
The “Real is Rare” integrated marketing and communications approach includes a robust digital campaign across video, radio, native and social platforms, as well as cable television. A short docu-film will launch in November – and the entire campaign will be supported with PR. The storytelling approach aims to showcase the diversity of modern day relationships and the many ways love and commitment are expressed and celebrated with a diamond.
Using the hashtag #RealisRare, consumers can join the conversation about “Real is Rare” on social media @RealisaDiamond on Twitter and Instagram, “Real is a Diamond” Facebook page and YouTube Channel.