The diamond business saw the writing on the wall: Retails sales of diamond jewelry are on the decline as young people delay marriage, work to save money and take a somewhat skeptical view of the premium jewelry industry.
For that reason, trade organization the Diamond Producers Association chose ad agency Mother New York last year to effectively reintroduce its products to a generation still shaken by the Great Recession. The shop's first campaign for its newest client debuts this week, and it positions real diamonds as the truest symbols of a deep emotional commitment between two young people … even if that bond isn't made official in the eyes of the law.
The development of the new brand campaign "Real Is Rare" is the result of more than six months of field research and development by Mother and research firm The Sound, which interviewed young people across the United States. The resulting ads serve as intimate, impressionistic portraits of two relationships at pivotal moments. In keeping with the campaign's premise, both of these romances follow non-traditional trajectories.
"The data shows that millennials buy the most diamonds in the U.S., so this is a proactive measure to make sure that this isn't simply tied to rituals like marriage," Mother New York senior strategist Thomas Henry tells Adweek. "On the flip side, while most millennials do get married, it's just not quite the same cultural institution that it used to be. … but that doesn't change the desire to be in a meaningful long-term relationship."
To that point, the couple in "Wild & Kind" isn't quite sure whether they will get ever married, but they remain dedicated to one another.
"As a director I was attracted by the theme of love as an unpolished drama," says Casper Balslev of RSA Films. "Being in a relationship can be a tough challenge, as much as an adventure. It's personal and it's intense."
The tagline's meaning is twofold: Just as "real" relationships are more authentic and desirable, the DPA wants to position true gemstones—instead of low-priced imitations like sapphires or cubic zirconia—as the same and have them represent the "real" relationship.
Thomas describes the research portion of this campaign as crucial: "Young people don't reject diamonds at all … but people we spoke to couldn't identify their emotional role. [We want to] give them language to describe that feeling; a diamond is the way you've chosen to commemorate the occasion, and not just because society told you to."
"'Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond' beautifully captures what makes diamonds meaningful in today's world and why they will always be timeless," says Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr.
The ads will air on broadcast television and various digital platforms such as Hulu alongside a social media push. The client has also planned a major public relations initiative in its efforts to reintroduce young Americans to the appeal of a real diamond.
Client: Diamond Producers Association
Agency: Mother New York
Title: "Runaways"; "Wild & Kind"
Production Co: RSA Films
Director: Casper Balslev
Executive Producer: Jules Daly
Executive Producer: Marjie Abrahams
Head of Production: Elicia LaPort
Line Producer: John Nguyen
DP: Manuel Alberto Claro
Production Service Co.: New Land Films (Denmark), & Cyber: A Few Good Men (Montenegro)
Editor – Jacob Schulsinger
Assistant Editor – Travis Moore
Head of Production – Melanie Gagliano
Executive Producer – Sasha Hirschfeld
El Camino Helsinki
Composer: Marko Nyberg
Audio Post Production: duotone audio post
Mixer: Andy Green
Executive Producer, Audio Post: Greg Tiefenbrun
Color: CO3 NY
Colorist: Sophie Borup
Creative Director: Randie Swanberg
Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
Producer: Alex Tracy