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What marketers can learn from one of the most successful advertising campaigns

Anyone over the age of 5 knows that when a man proposes to a woman, he offers her a diamond ring as a symbol of his love, because a diamond is forever. Believe it or not, this was not always the case.

In 1948, De Beers’ sales of diamond rings were plummeting in the wake of the Great Depression. They were searching for an advertising campaign that would motivate men to buy diamond rings. In creating the “A Diamond is Forever” campaign, De Beers not only boosted their diamond sales, but they also literally created the concept of an engagement ring, which is still popular today and shows no signs of slowing down.

Prior to this advertising campaign (De Beers continues to use the slogan to this day, and it is considered one of the most powerful advertising slogans of all time), buying an engagement ring was not a prerequisite to a proposal. By 1951, eight out of 10 brides in the U.S. had a diamond engagement ring,[2] and today, women write songs about “putting a ring on it.”

What marketers can learn: Just because a need for your products or services doesn’t currently exist, it does not mean that you can’t create a new need with your marketing.

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