By Michelle Graff
A screen shot taken from YouTube of the “Wild & Kind” commercial. The Diamond Producers Association screened both short (30-second) and long (60-second) versions of “Wild & Kind” and its second spot, “Runaways.”
New York--The Diamond Producers Association has unveiled the first two commercials in “Real is Rare,” its new campaign designed to fuel millennial interest in diamonds in the face of slipping sales.

Screened before an industry crowd Wednesday night in New York, the spots were a definite departure from traditional jewelry advertising.

There were no on-bended-knee proposals, no promises of forever and, in fact, not even any traditional engagement rings.

What there was, though, was a message intended to resonate with a new generation of consumers who, as the research that went into the campaign asserts, like diamonds but relate less to established rituals, like the tradition of giving a diamond ring upon getting engaged.

Or, for that matter, even getting married; as the stigma of co-habitation has faded, many young people today are delaying marriage--the average marriage age in the U.S. is now around 25 for women and 28 for men--or skipping it entirely.

DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, along with Stephen Lussier and Paul Malmstrom, creative director of Mother New York, the agency that put together the campaign, spoke prior to the screening of the spots Wednesday night.

But perhaps the most powerful statements came after, from the last speaker of the evening, Helzberg Diamonds Chairwoman and CEO Beryl Raff.

Her message was, as the millennials would say, on fleek.

“The most important thing that happened tonight is--it happened. This industry needs this so badly,” she said. “The tailwind that we’ve all experienced in our retail businesses from all of the ‘Diamond is Forever’ days, it’s long gone. It’s long, long gone. And nobody is out there telling this younger generation that they need a diamond, that they want a diamond, and what a diamond means.”

Real is Rare began rolling out across digital platforms Wednesday night. The videos are on YouTube, there’s a fledgling Facebook page that uses the handle Real is a Diamond, and a promoted tweet was spotted on Twitter.

Deborah Marquardt, the DPA’s new chief marketing officer, said following the digital rollout will be waves of public relations, social media, native media and digital radio promotions, on platforms including fashion and lifestyle website Refinery29, magazines Glamour and Vogue, streaming service Hulu and Pandora radio.

“There will be a surround sound of messages that continue to pulse out as we take our campaign through Q4,” she said.

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