Kalyan Jewellers takes diamonds to the masses

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 30, 2015
In a recently released campaign, the Kerala-based jewellery brand positions diamonds as a well-within-your-reach buy, and attempts to change the way people perceive the gem. The two-film campaign features brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan.

"A diamond is forever," cooed De Beers, in a campaign that dominated the television space for decades. The brand positioned the precious stone as a 'luxury' item. But, over the past few years, the scenario has changed - with more and more double-income households and a burgeoning middle class, marketers across categories are seeing merit in positioning products - that have traditionally been perceived as unaffordable - as being well within the reach of the common man.

Kalyan Jewellers is one such. In its latest two-film campaign featuring brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, Kalyan Jewellers is seen promoting its affordable diamond range, one that boasts a starting price of Rs. 8,000.

In the campaign, crafted by Push Integrated Communications, brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan helps Kalyan Jewellers break down all price-related barriers. In one film, he plays the doting grandfather, one who motivates his young grandson to buy his girlfriend a diamond ring, a cross his 'first salary' can bear with ease. In the other film, Bachchan is seen helping a female colleague pick a pair of diamond ear-rings, after receiving a bonus at work.

Both the campaigns end with the tagline, 'Heera hai sab ke liye, Hindi for 'A diamond is for everyone.'

Ramesh Kalyanaraman

VA Shrikumar

"With these ads, we aim to remove the 'elitist positioning' of diamonds," says Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director, Kalyan Jewellers. Though each film addresses a different set of consumers, in terms of the age group and socio-economic background, both speak to the "first time diamond user," he tells afaqs!.

In the South Indian market - one dominated by the demand for gold - around 10 per cent of Kalyan Jewellers' total business comes from its diamond jewellery offering. This figure is around 20 per cent in other regions. While metros have, historically, been the biggest markets for diamond jewellery, Kalyanaraman is equally confident about the potential of semi-urban towns.

"We want to tap into this market," he says, referring to tier two and three markets, "by offering prospective buyers with a product that caters to their aspirations of owning diamond jewellery."

VA Shrikumar, managing director, Push Interactive Communications, says the objective of the campaign was to "make diamonds affordable for all." Apart from television, the media mix includes print communication as well.
Kalyan Jewellers currently runs 77 showrooms across India and West Asia. The team has a marketing budget of Rs. 200 crore for FY 15-16. The company, which has been operational since 2003, plans to open a large store (the world's largest yet, as per pre-launch buzz) in Chennai over the next two months.

Massification: Accomplished!

Dheeraj Sinha

Jagdeep Kapoor

Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer, South and South East Asia, Grey, notes that diamonds have always been perceived as very expensive products, in this market. That Kalyan Jewellers is trying hard to alter this prevalent perception through this campaign is not lost on the brand strategy expert.

"That's why the brand is harping on the accessibility and affordability bit," he says. According to Sinha, the campaign succeeds in "driving its point home."

In general, there is a growing realisation that jewellery, especially diamonds, makes for good gifting material. Hence, focusing on the buyer, as opposed to the end consumer, is a good approach, he reasons.

Other jewellery brands, though, have made larger "social statements," he points out, adding that this piece of communication clearly doesn't fall within that bracket. In all fairness, that was probably not the objective, anyway.

"Diamonds are aspirational," believes Jagdeep Kapoor, managing director, Samsika Marketing Consultants, a brand marketing consultancy. In his opinion, this campaign speaks to the "aspiring, hard-working Indian."

This campaign, Kapoor feels, does the category a huge service; it helps take the general perception from 'Diamonds are forever' - one we've been fed over the years - to 'Diamonds are for everyone'. This, he predicts, is a "movement that will not fail to gain momentum in the days ahead." And he might very well be onto something; recall Tanishq's recent father-daughter film that positioned diamonds as great gifts to buy when on sale?

This campaign, says the brand guru, will help up the company's sales up by bringing in a new set of consumers into the fold - those who harbour an "unfulfilled desire to own and wear diamonds."

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