The new DTC Logo - the "Forevermark"
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Past, Present and Future
With the continued success of its existing marketing
campaigns, De Beers sought new avenues to increase diamond
demand. In January 2000, J. Walter Thompson announced
an extensive marketing campaign for the "three-stone
diamond anniversary ring", which featured a center half-carat
stone flanked by two smaller-sized side-stones. The
three-stone ring initiative was targeted at couples
celebrating their anniversary. Research conducted by
the advertising agency showed that female consumers
shared a "desire to take stock of their relationship
in the present day, reflect upon the journey shared
as a couple, and look forward to the many happy years
that lay ahead". The three-stone ring was tailor made
for each facet of the relationship: Past, present and
future. The three-stone ring campaign was a tremendous
What's in a name?
Then, in September 2000, De Beers made sweeping changes
to its identity. Instead of using its own name in
advertising, De Beers decided to use "Diamond Trading
Co." (DTC). A new icon, called the ForeverMark shaped
like a diamond with a star in its center was unveiled
to the public in January 2001. The decision to use
DTC instead of De Beers was an astute repositioning.
De Beers would use the DTC name and the ForeverMark
logo to market their rough production and the "De
Beers" name to sell an exclusive brand of diamonds
in soon-to-be-launched trendy De Beers stores.
In an effort to compete with the marketing budgets
of other luxury goods, De Beers, realizing that diamonds
lagged other luxury goods in advertising expenditure,
raised its 2002 advertising budget to almost $200
million. De Beers leveraged an additional $150 million
of diamond advertising from its customers. These enormous
advertising resources helped launch the Fall 2002
One of many two-paneled DTC advertisements.
||Bigger is better... again!
J. Walter Thompson's campaign was aimed at stimulating
women's desire for larger diamonds. The ad agency's
research found that 82% of survey respondents desired
jewelry with a diamond of at least a half-carat, but
few actually received such stones. The "Diamonds that
Make a Statement" campaign was targeted at 25-54 year
old affluent married couples, earning a combined household
income of at least $75,000. It featured products such
as stud earrings and solitaire necklaces.
The ads debuted in September 2002 featuring diamonds
and advertising copy on an all-black background. Each
advertisement consisted of two panels. One panel showed
a smaller diamond, the other showed the same design
with a larger diamond. Accompanying the photographs
were humorous catchphrases like "Thank you, Bob ...
Thank you, Lord."
The De Beers branded diamond
In 2002 and 2003, four De Beers-branded diamond stores
were opened - one in London, and three in Tokyo. The
store openings and diamond branding was part of a De
Beers joint venture retail partnership with LVMH, the
world's leading luxury brands holding company that owns
over 60 brands.
LVMH already owned several high-end fashion, leather
goods, cosmetics, jewelry and watch brands, including
Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Fendi, Christian Dior, and
TAG Heuer. De Beers already controlled the majority
of the world's diamond rough production, but with new
mines being discovered in Canada and the rest of the
world - many of which were not under the dominion of
a De Beers alliance - it was only a matter of time before
De Beers' stranglehold on rough diamond supply was eroded.
The goal of the De Beers LVMH partnership was to help
De Beers shift its core business away from mining and
marketing of rough diamonds to the development of a
retail brand bearing the powerful De Beers name.
Next: 'Raise Your Right Hand...'