De Beers is largely credited with creating the connection between diamonds and love and commitment, a masterstroke that turned the precious gemstone into a consumer product with universal appeal, and providing the industry with a solid foundation stone in matrimonial that has the power to endure economic downturns and even period of catastrophe.
But with formal marriages on the wane, and non-traditional relationships becoming more a norm, the company realized that it need to think outside of the engagement ring box, so as to retain its hold on its most valuable power base.
On November 1 the company announced a new global campaign, which retains the spirit of a the original “A Diamond is Forever” promotion, but this time is more vague as what committed relationship is being honored and celebrated. Centered around the expression “I do,” it clearly is designed to appeal to couples considering marriage. But De Beers clearly is reaching for a broader audience.
“We are turning ‘I do’ on its head, so it means more than just a romantic commitment,” said David Prager, De Beers’ Executive Vice President and chief brand officer, as quoted by JCK’s Rob Bates. “It can be a commitment to your community, to your friends, to the natural world.… It can be a commitment to anything that’s important to you. We don’t want to put what that commitment looks like in a box.
A COMMITMENT IN THE WIDEST SENSE
It the announcement of its new campaign, De Beer emphasized that the statement ‘I do.’ is one of the most significant and time-honoured expressions of intent. “Deeply emotional and instantly life-changing, it is an eternal promise between two individuals to a shared future,” it stated.
De Beers said its new campaign will underscore the the importance of these powerful commitments, and takes these two iconic words into new territory, expanding their meaning to stand for personal pledges of all kinds: to love, friendship, family, society, nature and more.
“Today we see a new generation of consumers who wish to communicate a wider commitment: a commitment to their own personal development, to their friendships, to their families, to society, and to the natural world,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group. “The meaning of ‘I do.’ has expanded and it’s more relevant than ever – and diamonds have a broader spectrum of meaning than ever before.”
“With our new ‘one De Beers’ vision, which encapsulates the essence of our brand’s purpose and enables consumers to interact with it in new ways, we see an exciting opportunity to shape the future of diamonds,” he added.
Celine Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark.
DE BEERS JEWELLERS AND FOREVERMARK
De Beers’ original “A Diamond is Forever” campaign was generic, in that it promoted diamonds as a category, rather than diamonds produced by a single corporation. Not so the “I Do” campaign.
The new campaign features a wide range of diamond jewellery from the group’s two branded enterprises that reach out to retail consumers – De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark.
From a marketing perspective at least, De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark now co-exist under one umbrella, marking a shift to a unified, consumer-centric and purpose-driven brand. While consumers are able to access different product ranges through the two houses, they will be guided by De Beers’ overall reputation as a brand.
“The launch of the campaign marks a turning point for De Beers, and paves the way for our ongoing commitment to being a purpose-driven company,” said Celine Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark. “Our two jewelry houses come from one powerful brand that is proud to stand for commitments by people all over the world, to what means most to them. We lead by example, committing to creating positive impact in the places where our diamonds are found, and for the people that connect with them along their journey.”
The multi-channel campaign is shot mainly outdoors, in forests, in open fields and by the sea. It embraces diversity in its casting, both via couples and individuals, straight and gay, and in the commitments it represents across a variety of vignettes. Messaging is centred around topics including staying true to oneself, not compromising, fighting for one’s beliefs and celebrating nature. The campaign also aligns with principles that sit at the heart of De Beers and its wider global community – innovation for good, inclusivity, and protection for the environment and its people.