< 1 Min Read
How Marketers Made Diamonds and Marriage Proposals Inseparable
And why companies should create deeper connections.
As we enter peak wedding season, we’d like you to imagine creating a stronger relationship with your customers.
Are you tired of one-and-done sales and pick-up lines in cold emails? Want to build something long-term?
It’s worth it. Just look at the unbreakable bond between marriage proposals and diamond rings.
That connection started in 1938 at former Philadelphia marketing agency N.W. Ayer & Son. A new client came in hoping to reverse slumping sales: De Beers.
This was during the Depression. Diamond engagement rings were uncommon. Women preferred their men spend money on practical luxuries, like new cars or washing machines.
The agency did its research and devised a strategy: create an emotional association with this particular mineral, and justify it as an investment.
With that, copywriter Frances Gerety wrote a tagline that Advertising Age eventually called the slogan of the century: “A Diamond is Forever.”
In addition to ads, Gerety wrote monthly letters to newspapers about celebrities wearing diamonds. The agency even lent diamonds for stars to wear.
To make men more confident in buying, they created “The Four Cs” – cut, clarity, color and carat.
To make men spend more, they created the concept of spending two-months’ salary on a ring.
In all of this, there was never even a sales pitch or call to action.
“There was simply an idea – the eternal emotional value surrounding the diamond,” an N.W. Ayer memo stated.
You know the rest. For at least 50 years, 80 percent of brides have received a diamond engagement ring.