Jingjing Ma
Sep 26, 2019

Diamond Producers Association targets China with 'The Diamond Journey'

A campaign developed by BBH London is part of an effort to promote natural diamonds, and an improved industry image, to mainland consumers.

Many young Chinese people love British style—from British accents to British literature, TV shows, luxuries and brands. Conscious of this, the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has chosen a British style for a new campaign targeting mainland consumers.

Created and directed by Ian Pons Jewell at Academy, 'The diamond journey' features music from Oscar-winning musician Atticus Ross.  BBH London managed the client and account. 

The anchor film (above) shows the epic origin story of diamonds, intercut wth scenes of a royal court, young lovers meeting in the woods, and a joyful dance party. In China, the campaign will use high-impact placements in cinemas, online TV, social KOLs, and digital touchpoints where most of the target audiences spend time. The campaign will be seen in 72 cinemas in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as 18 digital platforms.

The DPA is keenly aware of the potential threat posed by synthetic diamonds, and is working to differentiate the natural variety. “Contrary to past campaigns, we put a spotlight on the rough," Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the DPA, said in a release. "Now more than ever we need to celebrate the truly distinctive qualities that put natural diamonds in a category all their own.” 

The campaign follows on from a prevoius communications campaign launched ealier this year in China—'Embracing precious love with diamond'.

Inner view of Petra Mining

Apart from the above campaigns, the association is also spending effort to educate young consumers about what it claims is a new, responsible diamond industry. The DPA hired a third-party contractor, TruCost, to carry out research on the socioeconomic and environmental impact of diamond mining, based on which they built a platform named 'Total clarity' to provide relevant information.

In an interview with Campaign Asia Pacific, Lieberherr proclaimed the importance of this report, saying it provides "a very different picture of the industry that people have in mind", referring to past assocations with forced labor, child labor and even war.

According to the TruCost report, DPA members employ a total of over 77,000 people and create US$16 billion in net positive socioeconomic and environmental benefits, while 83% of the water used for diamond mining is recycled.

"What’s important is to make people from these communities, working in mines and around mines, explain the impact the diamond industry has in their life and promote that material," Lieberherr said. "For example, 'I’m a single mum, and I’m working in the mine in order to provide for my family. The diamond industry has changed my life in a positive way'. Let real people tell their stories. It’s really impactful."

Mabel Wong McCormick, managing director of DPA Greater China, added, "We are pulling together those stories… The point is that we will take these real-life stories and the information [from the TruCost report] into a format that is digital, whether it’s in the form of an article, cartoon, animation or short film. We’ll have different channels to disseminate that message."

As for communications and marketing strategies for the Chinese market, Wong said that the association will focus more on digital and social, as well as the use of celebrities.

"The strategy moving forward is to delve into a lot more research on millennial behaviors", she said. "They don’t want to be told, they want have a say on their own. Anything they hear today, they immediately go online and search. So using search is also one of the big strategies that we do, especially on the education and on changing the perception. We’ll maybe do a little SEM [search engine marketing] as well, so the combination of SEO and then within the right hubs, we will do a little bit of SEM to encourage a better link to our message and a high chance of being seen."

The DPA has also been testing the use of celebrities. "We used 15 celebrities in a very creative way to inspire consumers to embrace precious love in their own way," Wong said. "The campaign is not top down, it’s more about talking to and encouraging. The campaign itself is very much like your peers are talking to you, but using a celebrity to inspire you. We’ll continue that route, because what we did this year has generated some good results. Those are the key elements we will continue to focus on, at least in 2020."

Diavik Summer

Creative Credits

Client: Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO

Film Credits:
Writer & Director: Ian Pons Jewell
Production Company: Academy
Executive Producer: Simon Cooper
Producer: Shirley O’Connor
Production Manager: Bugs Hartley
DoP: Mauro Chiarello
Production Designer: Robin Brown
Costume Designer: Ameena Kara Callender
Service Production Company: Radioaktive Film
BBH CCO: Ian Heartfield
BBH Business Lead: James Rice
BBH Head of Film Production: Victoria Keenan
BBH Producer: Sophie Hughes
BBH Assistant Producer: Charlie Hurlock

Editor/Editing House: Paul Watts at The Quarry - Long Cut
Editor/Editing House: Tobias Suhm at Whitehouse Post - 60 second and cutdowns

Sound: Tim Harrison at Aumeta Music
Supervisor: Julz Baldwin at Black Sheep Music

Post Production: Time Based Arts VFX
Supervisors Sheldon Gardner, Francois Roisin

Mike Battcock
Michael Hunault
Fabrice Le Nezet
Walter How
Zoé Sottiaux
Tom Di Stasio
Federico Vanone
Matt Evans

Thiago Dantas
Bernardo Varela
Stephen Grasso
Manolo Perez
Linda Cieniawska
Will Robinson
Matt Shires

Simone Grattarola
Lewis Crossfield

Chris Aliano

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