Glitter, shine and everything bright - could be an apt descriptor when it comes to jewellery ads. However, that's not quite the case with the Diamond Producers Association's (DPA) new ad film which is all heart and soul sans glossy visuals. The new ad is the second in the 'Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond' series in India which is the DPA's global integrated marketing campaign. Crafted and conceptualised by BBH India, the minute-long video is titled 'Sneaking Out'.
For the uninitiated, the DPA is an international alliance of the world's leading diamond mining companies which work towards maintaining and enhancing consumer demand and confidence in diamonds. Though the dust is yet to settle on the 'Nirav Modi' scam, the new video celebrates diamonds as the only 'real' thing by portraying a heart-warming story of a couple trying to spend time with each other.
Interestingly, the ad was inspired by a real-life story. "It was something we heard in the research and we thought it was such a wonderful, real and fresh point of view. Naturally, we then wrote the rest," informs Russell Barrett, chief creative officer and managing partner, BBH India. He adds, "This story came from a couple who used to sneak out for late night bike rides to be able to spend time with each other and through those rides, they got closer."
The DPA along with BBH India conducted research in order to capture the truth. Sanjay Sharma, head, strategy and managing partner, BBH India, says, "One of the important legs of the strategic process was to meet real-life couples from various walks of life. As it often happens, real stories were very different from the regular, idealised portrayal of relationships; instead, they were about the couples' journey of coping with changes that marriage brings, dealing with new expectations and responsibilities, standing by each other through ups and downs, and creating a bond by discovering newer aspects of each other."
The first film in the campaign's Indian chapter was released in November of 2017 and it was also developed by BBH India. "The task was fairly clear; we needed to launch the idea of - Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond -for the Indian audience. How diamonds are viewed and thought of has changed over the years and this new positioning reflects exactly the shifting attitudes of the audience. The idea (of the campaign) has depth, authenticity and honesty at heart. Hence, we had to create stories that captured this sense of truth in modern Indian relationships," explains Barrett.
Richa Singh, managing director, DPA, India, opines that while most Indian marriages are arranged, the journey from being a "couple on paper" to a "couple for life" is unique. She shares, "We are talking to couples who are a few years into their marriage journey focusing on NCCS A, living in metros and Tier 1 and Tier 2 towns in India. We have launched this ad on digital platforms, OTT and social networks. We are looking forward to launching the film on television within the next few days."
Elaborating further on the TV launch, Singh tells us, "We have a robust TV plan in place with over 3000 spots across general entertainment, English niche content, high definition, and regional channels. Our plan is aimed to reach out across markets with high viewership regional channels and five language edits of the film. We are targeting couples consuming content together in their natural environment."
An exception to the jewellery advertising rule?
Concept heavy videos are not new when it comes to jewellery ads; after all, Tanishq's socially relevant commercials keep reminding us that glitter never eclipses content. But can we entirely do away with gloss and solely focus on real stories when the entire concept of jewellery revolves around vanity and self-indulgence? If ads are supposed to sell products while solving consumer problems and the same consumer requires her product to be aspirational in nature; can a jewellery ad then afford to rub its shine off and adopt a subtle tone?
Akashneel Dasgupta, senior vice-president and executive creative director, ADK Fortune, believes that the ad will massify diamonds. He states, "This ad is speaking to the heartland; it is much more real and grounded when compared to the usual diamond advertising. Also, the bigger thing which will emerge out of this communication is that it will end up democratising diamonds by saying that anyone can own them. To me, that comes out very strongly in this ad."
Economics tells us that luxury goods refuse to follow the law of price and demand. Unlike necessity goods, luxury goods see a rise in demand when prices increase owing to the prestige attached to the product. Carrying forward the same logic to advertising, if diamond advertising ceases to polish its creatives with 'elite' imagery and instead, cater to the masses, will it go against the product's innate nature?
A major risk this film runs is that people might not grasp the product in the first go. Dasgupta agrees and adds, "It's a double-edged sword; if you try to break away from the cliché then you always run the risk of not being noticed in the first view. Since I am an advertising person, I will look for the connect very closely, while the consumer might not do so." However, he applauds the DPA for taking the bold step of coming up with a realistic ad.
Echoing similar sentiments, Sunila Karir, founder and creative partner, Boing!, thinks that many diamond brands could benefit from this campaign. She says, "It will certainly convey that a diamond is a symbol of a precious and close relationship. Celebrities are used to make the product aspirational, but in this case, it is the reverse that will work since the objective is to make the younger audience consider making this precious purchase."
A look at some of the international ads released within the 'Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond' series: