For those thinking that the ‘A Diamond is Forever’ advertising campaign will easily resonate with millennials, think again. De Beers has a lot of work to do before it relaunches the iconic slogan in late September, as part of Forevermark’s U.S. holiday marketing campaign.
After all, the formula that worked for decades and spanned generations as a generic advertising campaign cannot simply be plugged into today’s marketing environment. The current generation of consumer buys differently, communicates differently and engages differently with each other and with brands, products and companies.
Millennials – the generation born between 1980 and 2000 – are not passive absorbers of marketing ideas and they have a shorter attention span. Whereas ad-men could easily find baby boomers and generation Xers watching TV and reading newspapers, millennials are supreme multi-taskers, streaming their favorite shows online – without those annoying ad breaks – while reading their customized news feed on Twitter and Facebook. They’re highly mobile and tech savvy and engage with their peers in an unprecedented manner – be it through texting, chatting, tweeting, pinning, sharing, liking or posting on any of the countless social media platforms available today.
Indeed, while De Beers is confident that millennials are moved by the same emotions and desire for love and commitment that ‘A Diamond is Forever’ stirred in previous generations, it recognizes that how a brand engages with consumers is radically different today.
“In the past, the focal point of a campaign was a 30-second TV commercial that would communicate a message, and in that way the advertiser told you what he thought you should believe,” Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark explained to Rapaport News. “That is far less effective against the millennials and it’s harder to get that message
across. Furthermore, a message articulated in that way is far less believable than it was to previous generations.”
Of course, the forthcoming campaign is not only geared toward millennials. The 30-second TV spot is still aimed at driving older generations to the stores. They are the ones with the money to spend on fashion diamond jewelry. But millennials are the ones buying their first diamond engagement ring and the idea is to influence their spending 10 years from now.
To achieve that, Lussier stressed that marketing to millennials should revolve around the concept of storytelling as opposed to advertising or communicating statements.
“Marketing to millennials should revolve around the concept of storytelling as opposed to advertising or communicating statements.”
Similarly, Rio Tinto, in its “Diamonds with a Story” campaign, notes that consumers crave a story line. “Stories inspire and engage and add an extra dimension to our lives,” the company explains. “They appeal to our deep desire to connect, and, in the case of diamonds, stories add emotional value.”