Kay Jewelers tackles coronavirus separation in social campaign
Kay Jewelers doesn’t typically run any brand marketing in late March, as it's too late for Valentine’s Day buying and too early for Mother’s Day. But on Wednesday the Signet Corp.-owned brand released a social media campaign that promotes prominent messages of love and helpfulness amid the coronavirus quarantine and anxiety.
“You’re seeing people come together—we’ve never been in a crisis through the lens of Zoom calls and social media before,” says Michael Goldberg, CEO of Zimmerman Advertising, which won creative and strategic agency duties for Kay last year.
Inspired by actual messages, the campaign shows texts and missives such as, “Mom, I can’t visit right now, but I’m thinking of you always,” and “I know you are in self-quarantine. Left some meals outside your door.” The spot ends with the text that reads, “Sometimes, what keeps us apart actually brings us together. Stay safe.” The push is part of Kay’s new #LoveIsUnstoppable campaign, which will ramp up as we get closer to Mother’s Day, Goldberg says. Typically, Kay may have product-driven campaigns but this is its first at this time of year that doesn’t feature any product, he adds.
Kay is promoting the push on its social channels and putting some paid support behind it as well, Goldberg says. In this time of social distancing, it’s also not the most appropriate time for Kay to use its longtime slogan “Every kiss begins with Kay.”
Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Kay, which has roughly 70 percent of its stores in malls, is dealing with unexpected and extended closures due to the pandemic. And, amid economic upheaval, retail experts have said that consumers are spending on essentials such as grocery and household items—discretionary purchases like jewelry and clothing are simply not a priority. On top of such concerns, mass-market jewelry brands like Kay have had trouble in recent years attracting younger consumers, who have been gravitating toward newer and trendier direct-to-consumer labels.
Goldberg says Kay has a lot of brand awareness with consumers 40 and up, but not as much with younger shoppers. “The younger set haven’t heard Kay speak in a voice they can align with—this was an opportunity to be relevant to the time,” he says. “The opportunity for them to have a voice in all of this that’s honest and relevant is the most critical thing.”