DEBEERS DIAMONDS BECKON TO YOUNGER FEMALE AUDIENCE

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DeBeers' diamonds are still forever, but the giant jewelry cartel's ads are changing with the times.

This week, DeBeers adds a contemporary slant to its print advertising, mirroring its well-known "Shadows" TV commercials created by J. Walter Thompson Co., London.

The b&w print ads, from JWT's New York office, capitalize on a woman's infatuation with the sparkly stones.

Spending on the new campaign wasn't disclosed. Last year, DeBeers spent $68 million in measured media, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Of that, about $45 million went for TV and $22 million for print.

'SHADOWS' STRONG

"We knew the 'Shadows' on TV was already strong. It was just a matter of taking the strength of that campaign and transferring it to print," said Richard Lennox, JWT senior partner and director in charge of the DeBeers Consolidated Mines account.

That's "easy to say, but not easy to do," he added.

New spreads show partly shadowed women on the left page with a single diamond ring, necklace or earring in sharp focus. On the right, on a black background, is a statement about women's relationship with diamonds.

One ad reads: "It beckons me as I pass the store window. A flash of light in the corner of my eye. I stop. I turn. We look at each other. And though I'm not usually that kind of girl, I take it home."

Another ad promotes the idea that diamond rings aren't just for matrimony. "On my left hand, you will see a symbol of my commitment," the ad reads. "But on my right hand is my independence, my uncaptured spirit that also wants to shine."

Along with the ads, DeBeers is running a trade promotional campaign that seeks the most innovative designs in right-hand rings. It's an integrated effort similar to the one DeBeers started a few years ago, touching off a popularity trend for the diamond solitaire.

"The unique thing about DeBeers is its level of integration worldwide," said Bob Jeffrey, president of JWT's New York office. "This effort is really about how to take diamonds from an elitist concern and make them more relevant, not only in terms of money, but also for younger women."

The latest work plays off JWT's initial updated but still classic theme targeted to men.

That print and outdoor advertising, which broke in the fourth quarter, featured a crystal-clear shot of a solitaire ring or earrings on a black background. The copy, in white lettering, included such lines as "Redo the kitchen next year"

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