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David Squires

10 Holiday Videos Your Competitors Are Running

Rating jewelers’ holiday commercials.

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THIS WEEK, we survey the landscape in jewelry commercials for the 2015 holiday season and rank the offerings from top to bottom. Best of the bunch: a gloriously campy treat from Cartier that features a Broadway-esque dance number and diamond earrings flying over Paris. Worst of the lot, by a mile: Blue Nile’s ridiculous hatchet job on American retail jewelers.

1. “Diamonds” from Cartier

Over-the-top in the very best way. A glitzy spectacular that unfolds on the rooftops and in the skies over Paris. Features an updated version of the classic song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” with fancifully updated lyrics: “If you still want to part-ee-ay, go straight to Cartier.” And there’s even a brief cameo by Cartier’s iconic panther because … of course.

2. “The Gift” from Tiffany

All the right elements. An attractive couple, a gorgeously streetlit Manhattan in the snow, and a sweet torch song. Ending line has got a lot of punch: “There are gifts you give. And there are gifts you can’t wait to give.” Nicely done.

3. “It’s a Long Journey To Become the One” from Forevermark

Epic, but weird. Feels like Forevermark’s attempt at a new take on Apple’s “1984” commercial. This viewer’s decidedly lowbrow reaction to scenes of men crawling out of the dark cavern and then, first stumbling, finally racing each other toward their ultimate goal: is this a metaphor for the reproductive process? A little while later, it became clear: “Oh, it’s a diamond talking.” Also a bit off: the fantastically handsome suitor opening his palm to reveal to his ladylove, instead of an engagement ring, a loose diamond.

4. “Diamonds in Rhythm” from Kay Jewelers

Middle of the road, but hey, the middle of the road isn’t the worst place to be. Cute family perkily interacting in homey yellow-lit rooms. Fake snow falling outside. Brand position is stated in a memorable manner: “The number-one memory maker in America”. And, of course, there’s the omnipresent jingle: “Every kiss begins with Kay”. Try to get that one out of your head after you’ve heard it a couple of times.

5. “Two Diamond Ring” from Reeds Jewelers

Reed’s commercial template for this year’s holiday season is interchangeable with those of its rivals. Chirpy neo-folk soundtrack with female vocalist. (Seriously, you could switch the soundtracks for the Kay, Pandora and Zales commercials without anyone noticing a speck of difference.) Slow panning shots of Christmas decor and attractive mid-lifers cuddling, drinking coffee and watching snow float to earth. In this particular spot, Reeds makes the two-diamond argument that still eludes this reviewer — “one diamond for your best friend, one for your true love”. Commercial closes with Reeds’ fairly powerful brand-positioning statement: “Your family-owned jeweler, trusted for generations”.

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6. “Wherever Life Takes You, Take It With You” from Pandora

A family’s journey through life, represented by new additions (cute puppy followed by cute child) to the group and ever-more-thickly-beladen Pandora bracelets. Cute, but underwhelming.

7. “Tolkowsky Cut Diamonds” from Kay Jewelers

Good idea: the mass-market jewelers endeavor to explain the magic of diamond cuts from an industry genius to the American public. Bad idea: they try to do it in only 15 seconds.

8. “Unstoppable Love Collection” from Zales

My take away from this commercial is … who is this family’s landscaper? I want his number. Because that backyard looks amazing. As for the slogan: “That’s a diamond kind of love”? And such a kind of love “must be declared”? And that Zales is the only place where you can find the appropriate means with which to declare it. Meh.

9. “Endless Brilliance Collection ” from Zales

Some additional “A diamond kind of love” from Zales, featuring a guy who has defaced half a ski slope to show his mountain-sized passion for his partner. Meh.

999. “Ring Shopping Shouldn’t Be Scary” from Blue Nile

Absolute bottom of the barrel. Watch this one and feel your blood fry. Shopping at a local family business is ridiculous? Really? The average jewelry salesperson is 97 years old and possesses a horribly fake smile filled with yellow tombstone teeth? Really? Closing slogan: “Value Redefined. Thankfully Online.” Thankfully online? What an upside-down world we live in.

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