DeBeers makes diamonds non-optional

“A Diamond is Forever 

One of the more memorable slogans of twentieth century advertising, the statement which defined dreams: “A Diamond is Forever”.

De Beers started this campaign by presenting the idea that a diamond ring is a necessary luxury. Diamonds are not inherently especially rare or valuable by most measures. DeBeers used marketing and control over distribution to change diamonds into the ultimate expression of rare beauty and value.

N.W. Ayer created a situation where almost every person about to say their marriage vows would feel compelled to get a diamond engagement ring.

It’s an ingenious marketing technique. Ayer built his company from ground up with just a vision. He knew how to make an inexpensive object a psychological need and then manipulated the corresponding factors in his favor.

In the 20th century there were only 10% engagement rings which supported a diamond. Diamonds did not used to be such unattainable “stone of dreams”. They were relatively inexpensive, difficult to mine hence had little market supply resulting in low demand.

What Ayer did was he first monopolized the price of diamonds by buying coal mines during the time of economic turmoil, and maintained their supply in market. Then the important factor was of getting an ad agency. Since the country was already under the threat of war so Ayer looked for the country or countries where it was possible to sell his vision of the diamonds. Once he had found his target market he hired ad agency to help make the product a necessity in the minds of people. Thus emerged the slogan “Diamonds are forever”

Through advertising and maintaining the demand and supply of diamonds in his chosen market he built the ‘DeBeers diamonds’ which increased the sales of diamonds by 55% from 1938 to 1941 in the US.

Today a wedding is considered incomplete without a diamond ring!

Julie Roehm