Standing in the security line at JFK International Airport, preparing to unbuckle my belt and take off my shoes, I realized why I love coming to Las Vegas each year for the various shows that are taking place this week. For one thing, you get to see old friends and the many industry characters who attend. For another, there’s generally a flood of news coming out of the shows. There’s really no other event in the trade’s calendar that gives the same insight into the pulse of the diamond and jewelry market.
I was therefore hardly surprised when I passed by Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), in the security line, where he teased me that his organization would have a significant announcement out by the time we landed in Las Vegas. Sure enough, the first email I received on arrival was an announcement that the DPA had secured a $57 million budget for this year — of which $50 million was earmarked for its US campaign.
That’s a notable increase from last year’s budget — more than quadruple — and will effectively allow the DPA to conduct a “full-scale launch of the ‘Real Is Rare’ campaign,” Lieberherr said in the press release. We’ll be keeping close watch on what the DPA does with its war chest in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, Forevermark revealed a change in focus for its fourth-quarter advertising campaign at its annual breakfast in Las Vegas on Sunday morning. The De Beers brand will concentrate on women self-purchasers by introducing a collection that “celebrates the individual qualities and accomplishments of women.”
Following research De Beers published last week showing that millennials are increasingly buying diamond jewelry for themselves, Forevermark will launch a line of earrings, necklaces and rings — as well as an advertising campaign — to capitalize on that trend this Christmas.
That got me thinking that we’ve been hearing an awful lot about millennials in the last few years. But really, the conversation is less about the millennial generation, and more about the millennial way of consuming.
As a Generation X-er myself, I don’t buy stuff the way I used to. I also engage with companies and products differently. I tweet, like posts on Facebook and Instagram, and research what I want online, if I don’t make the final purchase there, too. And I want to be assured what I’m buying is real, has meaning and value.
Turns out many of the JCK Talks education seminars on Sunday focused on those very issues, with the industry emphasizing storytelling to engage with those (us) new-age consumers.