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Forevermark unveils 'halo' design, ad plans

2012-06-01

Halo diamond bridal and fashion pieces, such as the pendant shown here, will be created as part of Forevermark’s new “Center of My Universe” marketing campaign. Print and digital “Center” ads directed at women will roll out in October followed by male-targeted ads in November.

Las Vegas--Forevermark unveiled its new design concept and advertising campaign Thursday morning in Las Vegas, a campaign centered on halo diamond jewelry intended to reflect the idea of the woman as the irreplaceable core of the family unit.

The marketing push behind this new campaign, called “Center of My Universe,” will begin in October with magazine and targeted online advertising, as well as a social media push on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

The campaign is reminiscent of the “beacon” programs De Beers has launched in the past, such as Journey diamond jewelry and the three-stone ring.

However, unlike those programs--which were intended to drive diamond jewelry sales across the board--the use of the trademarked tagline “Center of My Universe” is available only to authorized Forevermark manufacturers, diamantaires and retailers.

In an interview following the presentation held at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, Forevermark U.S. Inc. President Charles Stanley said that De Beers’ market research showed the halo design was popular among both brides and the group De Beers classifies as “heavy owners,” affluent consumers with eight or more pieces of diamond jewelry.

London-based Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier and Diamond Trading Co. Managing Director Varda Shine also were in attendance at the presentation.

Stanley said while center stones used in the designs must be Forevermark diamonds bearing the brand’s signature inscription, the micro-pave surrounding them will not be, as they don’t meet the minimum size requirement for the brand of 14 points and larger.

Along with the Center campaign, Forevermark unveiled a new slogan for Forevermark, “The Diamond. The Promise.” The phrase previously used in connection with Forevermark was “The world’s most carefully selected diamonds,” which some retailers noted as being too similar to Hearts on Fire, “The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond,” and Lazare Kaplan, “The world’s most beautiful diamond.”

“I think it’s powerful,” said Stanley, when asked if the new line was chosen in order to differentiate Forevermark from its competitors. “We recognized that we needed to have a targeted brand line to encapsulate the promise.”

The idea of the Forevermark promise--that De Beers can trace the origin of these diamonds and ensure they are both natural and conflict-free--was a key point in Thursday morning’s presentation.

And it is a topic that is particularly poignant right now, in the wake of the recent scandal involving hundreds of undisclosed synthetic, or lab-grown, diamonds being submitted to the International Gemological Institute’s (IGI) grading laboratory in Antwerp.

The scandal raised questions in the industry about how a discovery such as this might impact consumer confidence.

“It’s just a question of time before something like that gets (beyond the trade and) into the public domain,” Stanley said. “It’s those types of questions that we want to answer (with Forevermark).”

He said De Beers foresaw potential problems with synthetics a decade ago, and that is why the London-based diamond miner and marketer spent millions to develop detection equipment, the DiamondSure and the DiamondView. “We’re very confident we can detect any synthetic,” he said.

 Following the presentation, both suppliers and potential retail partners reacted positively to the campaign, noting De Beers’ past successes with marketing.

Aida Alvarez, senior vice president of merchandising with Birks & Mayors, said she likes the entire concept, from the public relations to the training to the halo design, which gives diamond jewelry a fuller look. Mayors is not a Forevermark retail partner but is considering investing in the program.

“The ‘Center of My Universe,’ that tagline is just perfect,” she said, noting its appeal to today’s women, many of whom are wives, mothers and career women. “It really makes her feel special.”

“I think that it’s incredibly powerful,” said Gail Kenny, a regional vice president with New York-based bridal jewelry company A. Jaffe, one of Forevermark’s authorized manufacturers. Kenny has 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry.

“That really does bring everything back to her. What girl doesn’t want to feel she’s the center of the universe?” she said. “I’m very pleased with it.”