Shining a New Light With Diamonds

The Project

With the objective of making diamonds relevant again, The Sound together with Mother New York, sought out to come up with a game changing category positioning. In order to best reposition the brand, we began by exploring Millennials’ life at the moment. This allowed us to get an in-depth perspective on how Millennial’s navigate modern relationships, the ways in which jewellery is gifted, and what the existing perceptions of diamonds are and how we may be able to find a new role for the gem.

Our suggested methodology kicked off with a hypothesis session and explorative online discussion on our proprietary digital insights gathering tool, The Sound Wave, followed by immersive in-home friendship triads, in depth interviews and focus groups with women who had recently become engaged.

Back in the day it was much more formal: dating, relationship, marriage. Now it’s… all very open ended.

Millennial Female, LA

The Challenge

The diamond industry still relies on sales from engagement rings, and advertising communications have largely remained unchanged for decades. But Millennials are delaying marriage, with some not marrying at all. The core of the challenges was to determine how diamonds could stay relevant to their core target. The Diamond Producers Association wanted to unearth specific Millennial insights to inform creative development for future advertising campaigns.

The Solution

The Sound unveiled a number of key insights that became the foundation to the fresh strategic direction and creative development of the new advertising campaign (the first to be released by the Diamond Producers Association in 5 years) that were widely featured in industry media:

  • Millennials are rewriting the rulebook on relationship ‘traditions’ and have a fluid, non-deterministic. approach to relationships that prioritizes celebration of the journey and small milestones along the way. The resulting ads depict intimate, portraits of two relationships at pivotal moments yet following seemingly non-traditional trajectories
  • Millennials are constantly reappraising their relationships: “Is this relationship empowering me in my personal journey?”. The protagonists in the ads go through moments of doubt and make a conscious decision to stick to the relationship as it makes them a better person.
  • The tagline, ‘real is rare’ a depiction of Millennials’ pushback against inauthenticity in both synthetic diamonds and perfect relationships. The struggles in the relationship in the ads reflect The Sound’s insight that the idea of ‘forever’ in relationships feels fake and unrealistic, and that perfection is no longer the ultimate goal
  • The key to diamonds appeal going forward lies in making them the “how” not the “what”, and in letting Millennials fill them with their own personal meaning vs limiting them to societal ideals. It’s as intimate as their relationship. The resulting ads showcase couples making their own unique promise, beyond engagement/marriage.

See AdWeek’s news coverage on this campaign.

diamond1 diamond2 diamond3

Women and Whiskey


Client Love

Thomas describes the exploratory portion of this campaign as crucial: "Young people don't reject diamonds at all ... but people we spoke to couldn't identify their emotional role. [We want to] give them language to describe that feeling; a diamond is the way you've chosen to commemorate the occasion, and not just because society told you to."

Thomas Henry, Senior Strategist, Mother New York

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