“Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond.”

Love isn’t a two-hour chick flick with a happy, sappy, ending. It’s moments. It’s when you catch her eye in a crowded room, and there’s suddenly no one else there. It’s when you look at him after years, and see him like it’s the first time. It’s real. And real is rare.

A new ad campaign from the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) ditches the traditional fairytale love story and focuses on real moments in people’s lives. Why? It comes down to one word: millennials.

Focus Diamond Ads on Love Moments for Millennials | K. Rosengart


The Complex Relationship Between Millennials and Diamonds

You’ve read the stories; you’ve seen the tweets. According to publications from The Guardian and CNBC to Huffington Post and The Economist, millennials just don’t buy diamonds. A few of the purported reasons:

  • Marriage rates are not as high among this generation, and many millennials delay the “big day.”
  • Many in this demographic opt for “nontraditional” rings.
  • Their spending behaviors differ: this generation prefers experiences over things, and they are often dealing with competing monetary pressures (think student loans).

To counter these sales objections, the DPA is essentially rebranding diamonds. It’s not love, marriage, happily ever after in a neat linear progression. The new ads feature real moments from relatable couples who choose different paths. In the spot, “Runaway,” for example, a couple isn’t “settling” down. Not by a long shot. They’re exploring, discovering, seeing the world - and they’re doing it together.

Another, “Wild and Kind,” the traditional destiny-meant-for-us-to-be-together-forever story is turned on its head. This couple… they’ve thought about breaking up. Love is tough. But the future is together. This is real. And, as the DPA says, real is diamond.

DPA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Marquardt says of the ads, “The audience is given a glimpse into private ‘couple moments’ where the role of the diamond is intrinsic to the storyline, and is an expression of their love, their life together, and their commitment to each other.

But What’s the Real Story of Millennials and Diamonds?

The factors we mentioned earlier - the focus on experience over things, the shift to marrying later or not at all, the desire for nontraditional rings - lead some to believe diamonds are passe. Over. Something your grandma wears.

Ready to hear something shocking? Ready to hear who buys the most diamonds in the US? Millennials. The difference is that they’re not attaching them to traditions like marriage. Instead, they’re a symbol of love in a meaningful relationship. Semantics? No. Good marketing.

Millennials also tend to value authenticity. So, even though they prefer “nontraditional,” they want “real.” Eschewing sapphires, cubic zirconia, and lab-grown diamonds in favor of GIA certified diamonds is perfectly aligned with millennial consumer behavior. Innovative designs and settings certainly fulfill the desire for nontraditional appeal.

DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr says, “‘Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond’ beautifully captures what makes diamonds meaningful in today’s world and why they will always be timeless.”

The real story of millennials and diamonds is the story. This demographic values the experience of love, wherever it leads; those in the diamond business, whether designers, wholesalers, or retailers, have to make a shift into selling with stories. This is what the “Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond” campaign seeks to do. It’s what you can do each time a customer visits your location or your website.

Millennials and diamonds: it’s a beautiful relationship. But it takes work - just like love!