Diamonds vs. Millennials

Clarissa Slagle // Oct 7 // Insights

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Diamonds vs.  Millennials

The diamond industry is in a decline, as millennials are holding off on marriage until later in life and looking at alternatives to diamonds for engagement and wedding rings. Recently the Diamond Producers Association hired ad agency Mother New York to produce a series of spots to appeal specifically to millennials. We wanted to know if these videos rose to the challenge, so we showed them to some millennials in the office to get their take on whether the spots appealed to them or not. Here’s what they thought.

Venice F.
Age: 26
Relationship Status: Not Married

It’s a little too mushy for me, but I think they did a pretty good job hitting the non-traditional couples that may or may not want to get married. I think it definitely hits the older side of the millennial spectrum (“senior millennials” is a great term for it) because for the most part they’re at an age where they are a little more established [with careers, relationships, etc.]. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m in a stage where my friends are either a few years out of college in their first real jobs, or still in grad school. Either way, there’s not a ton of extra cash in the budget for buying diamonds whether in a committed relationship or not. I’m giving my longtime boyfriend the benefit of the doubt by saying he’s a broke grad school student, but if he were to give me diamond necklace instead of a ring I’d be a little confused (to be clear, I’m in ZERO rush to get married). But maybe that’s because I’m basic and see myself getting married at some point…

Torie W.
Age: 29
Relationship Status: Engaged

PSA to all guys: if you give a girl a diamond ring you better be proposing with it. Probably best to avoid putting it on a “string” too. JK. I consider myself to be more traditional, so I like the tagline “Real is Rare.” I think there will be a lot of millennials who are turned off by this message, though. They seem to be targeting the ones that don’t feel they need a “legal paper” to be happy in a long-term relationship, and those tend to be the same people who criticize the notion of purchasing a diamond to prove their commitment.

Katie J.
Age: 29
Relationship Status: Newlywed

While I understand the strategic thinking that went into creating these ads, I have to admit these commercials made me cringe. They were trying so hard to appeal to a very specific subset of our generation that it almost played like a satire – an SNL skit about hipsters. The line “you make my lips stutter when they start to tell a lie” along with the random cuts to reptiles, motorcycles and Steve Aoki look-a-likes felt disingenuous and corny.

Alicia Z.
Age: 26
Relationship Status: Not Married

I respect the concept of not associating diamonds to traditional rituals like marriage; however, I am skeptical that this narrative will help increase sales. Diamonds are not cheap. I believe most people purchase a diamond for someone only if they intend to be with them long term and I don’t think this notion will change. I do like that the story illustrates that real relationships are precious and beautiful, but I am unconvinced this message will motivate people who aren’t ready for marriage to purchase a diamond.

Jessica S.
Age: 28
Relationship Status: Newlywed

I had to re-watch these ads a couple of times…as they left me confused and weirded-out the first time I watched them. As someone who is recently married, and a millennial, this ad feels as though it is trying WAY too hard to appeal to millennials and their interests. Although it is true that relationships can be tough, the relationships depicted are exaggerated and don't necessarily leave you with a positive feeling about getting engaged or married.

Brett D.
Age: 31
Relationship Status: Not Married

I think they’re well done spots. It’s a more honest approach to storytelling than “Every kiss begins with Kay” or “He went to Jared.” Sure, they’re a bit cliche but we’re talking about diamond rings, which are by nature cliche. Marriage is a real commitment, I don’t take that as a knock against Millennials but rather a statement of what 'til death do us part’ means.

The millennials (in our office) have spoken. Look at the spots for yourself and determine if they worked:

Read more about the campaign here.

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