October 8, 2008

Women of the world, raise your right hand

Women, stop waiting for a man to buy you a diamond for your left hand. You're successful and deserve good things. Good things that you can buy yourself. Why do you need a man to buy you a ring?

This is the basis for the "Right Hand Ring" ad campaign--it was launched by DeBeers in 2003 and is still running today. Is this ad empowering or insulting? Is DeBeers targeting their intended audience, or alienating them? Did they appeal to the side of a woman that says, "You should buy something nice for yourself" or an alternative side that thinks, "Why don't I have one of these by now?"

Based on the continuation of the campaign, I would venture to say sales of non-traditional diamond rings has gone up over the last five years. So does it matter what emotions the diamond company hit? Can increased sales alone justify a successful campaign?

As I talked about in my "100% truth" posting, where do advertisers need to consider ethics? In this case, how much does DeBeers need to consider the possible impact they are having on society's view of women, and of the view the have of themselves? Did they believe that they were creating a campaign that would boost a woman's status/self esteem?

As a marketer, there is a lot to keep in mind when you're creating an ad. As much as you need to say what your product is/does/promises, you need to always remember your audience. How will they react? Not knowing the history of how an ad was created, will they understand it? Will they appreciate it, or will it turn them away? When you're asking a woman to raise her hand, be sure she won't be raising it in protest.

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