Needed: Real PeopleMarch 07, 19
In February, the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) launched a new campaign entitled “For Me, From Me,” a campaign “inspired by the natural diamond industry’s strongest growth engine, women self-purchase, which today represents one-third of all diamond jewelry sales in the US...” according to the DPA.
It took me a few days before I had time to watch it. After viewing it several times, I thought it to be rather bland. But hey, who am I, a middle-aged guy, to judge this, right? So I forgot about it.
A few days later, however, an exciting conversation developed on Facebook about the commercial. It started with a post by my colleague Barbara Palumbo, of Atlanta, USA. Barbara is a well-known watch industry journalist, speaker, writer and, most importantly, a proud mother of two wonderful young redheads.
Here’s what she wrote:
“I'm sure I'll catch shit for this, but it seems a bit disingenuous to use the tagline ’Real is Rare’ in a commercial showing a woman who (in my opinion) has had obvious plastic surgery. Don't think consumers won't notice. Millennial purchasers respond to real. Not just the word, ‘real’ but actual realness. Real people with real faces helps, especially when an entity is encouraging women to buy for themselves. Real is rare. In relationships. In diamonds. And, in appearance.
There. I said it.”
Later, after realizing the storm of reactions her post had generated, she wrote:
“For those of you who shared my post …. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your doing so, because a conversation was started about the ad. At least, I hope that was your intention for sharing it and not just to stir up drama, because the last thing this industry needs is more of that.”
In the conversations that followed Barbara said that the commercial was not modern, at all. “It was so staged, and it was the first thing I saw... a face that was altered. What does this tell us, as women? ‘Hey, your diamonds should be natural because there is beauty in naturally mined diamonds, oh, but it's okay if your face is created in a doctor's office.’”
“I feel the company putting out the commercial comes off as hypocritical when they push the idea that "real is rare" and that natural diamonds are better than lab-grown diamonds while using actresses in the commercial who are blatantly not natural. I don't condemn women who go under the knife - live and let live - but I am pointing out that young people are more prone to wanting to see real people, and people who look like them, in ads,” she commented.
Barbara later added a clarification to her first post saying that “it looks, in my opinion, as if the middle-aged model [in the ad], to whom I'm referring, has had work done.”
I thought that this was worth sharing – with Barbara’s permission. And one may hope that the DPA is listening. It makes you wonder, though, if high up in those skyscrapers in Manhattan, the ad agencies which are working on this stuff may be off target? More importantly, does the DPA itself realize it?