Luxury Daily: Cream's campaign for jeweller Bucherer targeting self-purchasing women

Fine jewellery has long been synonymous with romantic gifting – traditional and elite. We might think of Titanic’s heart of the ocean as emblematic: a man secures the clasp of a heavy necklace around his fiancé’s neck, and that necklace is to be stored in a safe to be worn, at the very most, twice in a lifetime. For decades advertisers have reflected this style of romance through their advertising, using imagery to seduce men into gifting, sometimes at the expense of inspiring the women who have always been their end consumer. Today, this is necessarily changing.

It is nothing new that women have spending power; however, this power is increasing as the gender pay gap continues its long overdue decline. In a post-Time’s Up world, it feels antiquated to push jewellery to men more than women, and to do so would show a blindness to changing consumer attitudes in the sector. Women are purchasing fine jewellery for themselves more than ever before – celebrating personal milestones such as promotions as much as they are romantic ones. 

Naturally, it is younger consumers leading the charge when it comes to progressive gender attitudes. This is becoming hard for luxury brands to ignore, as the spending power of millennials and generation Z is growing to such an extent that they will overtake baby boomers by 2020. Bain found that 85% of luxury industry growth in 2017 was driven by millennials and generation Z, and this figure is only set to rise.

Cream have used audience insight to ensure that media planning reflects new buying behaviours and anticipates how these will continue to change in the future. Across the plans of one fine jewellery client, we have implemented a reversal in gender targeting over the past five years, reaching just 20% female consumers in 2013 but 82% in 2018.

Seeing opportunity in this climate, many brands are changing gear and speaking directly to their female audiences. Broadly, marketing has seen a profound switch from saccharine messages of romance to playful or inspiring stories aimed at women themselves. 

Tiffany has long been synonymous with gifting (it is almost needless to cite the iconic robin egg blue box tied with a white satin ribbon). But over recent seasons, that romantic Tiffany blue has been lifted from its box and splashed through campaigns which celebrate successful women and their personal style. Eschewing fashion models, campaigns have featured and celebrated the likes of Janelle Monae, Zoe Kravitz and Lady Gaga. This year’s spring campaign video, ‘Believe in Dreams’, featured Elle Fanning dancing wackily through the streets of Manhattan in jeans and a hoodie. Gone are the days of seducing men into buying their partner a little blue box – this was a celebration of joy, self-expression, and women’s own dreams.

Talent choice is important in conveying compelling messages, and showing women that a brand is relevant to their lives and aspirations. Cream Influence, the division of our business which pairs clients with influential figures, has increasingly looked beyond social media to find talents embodying the diverse passion-points of modern audiences – whether they are innovators in art, food, music or fashion. Working with an accomplished woman shows the world that a luxury brand stands for substance, and understands that its consumers are substantial in turn. 

When Bucherer Fine Jewellery launched in the UK market last year, it was important for Cream’s media plans to show women that this was not simply an antiquated Bond Street jeweller producing occasion pieces. Although crafted with the luxurious materials and techniques expected from a brand so rich in heritage, Bucherer Fine Jewellery’s collections are made to be worn and to be seen. Part of Cream’s launch campaign involved working with fashion influencers to style jewellery with trend-led daywear, placing the brand at the heart of how women truly live today – white gold, diamonds and pearls mixed with corduroy, shirting and jeans. This was an important move in making sure the brand felt relevant to the women we were speaking to, in a time when even affluent consumers are transcending tradition and are unlikely to see themselves reflected in ball-gowns and tuxedos.

Across our media schedules since the launch, we have worked with media platforms which speak to women with intelligence and purpose: Edward Enninful’s Vogue, with its dedication to diversity and social commentary, and Vanity Fair, which refuses to cut word counts in the name of supposedly short attention spans. Introducing Bucherer Fine Jewellery’s B Dimension collection with Vanity Fair, for example, allowed us to tell compelling stories of design and artistic inspiration which we knew would resonate with the brand’s discerning woman. 

What’s certain is that consumer attitudes are in flux and we must do what we can to adjust to new needs and desires. When lifestyles are so quickly transcending tradition, we must ensure that marketing comprehends the diversity and complexity of consumers. More and more, this means speaking directly to women who will purchase for themselves. Brands have more scope than ever to explore how they approach these women – they are free to explore new milestones, new occasions, new styling and new tones of voice, whereas brands which don’t adapt will eventually find themselves left behind. 

By Mark Izatt, Client Director at Cream

Photo credit: Anna Rosa Vitiello @annarvitiello 

*This article was first published as a piece for Luxury Daily