Last November, there was a news like a bombshell spreading in advertising. WPP declared that “Wunderman” would be integrated with and “J. Walter Thompson (JWT). The new company’s name is Wunderman Thompson. JWT, the first international 4A agency, was changed its name after one hundred year. It is a woeful thing. JWT also was the first batch international 4A agencies coming to China. It brought advanced advertising methodologies and inspired many young people working in advertising at that time who are the backbone force of advertising now. JWT just likes a lighthouse for some people. Many famous advertising people published the regret at their own social media. To be honest, I could not feel the same regret like them, because I were not born at that time.
For me, JWT was a great agency who run a lot of legendary advertising campaigns all over the world. I found a book which was published by JWT itself, and this book shows the whole JWT methodologies and collects a lot of successful cases specifically in China. In this blog, I will focus on showing one case study - The diamond Trading Company(DTC). How JWT helped this company to open the China market, such a big market, and how JWT made “A diamond is forever” this belief be deeply rooted among the people.
It is a nature for girls to like some bling-bling things. Much more was this point with diamond. In western world, diamond is a kind of popular ornament, but the recognition degree was low in China at that time. The golden and jade were the mainstream. After marketing research, JWT decided to choose “wedding ring” as the starting point. No matter the western girls or Chinese girls will exchange love tokens. But very few people related the diamond with marriage at that time. So in this long-term campaign which can be divided into three steps, the first step’s aim was to relate diamond with marriage.
JWT filmed a series of TVC to show the love value of diamond, a case of this point is that “the Moon” which is shot at 1995, in this video, the story happened at a very Chinese traditional big house and the plot was that a couple who knew each other when they were children and they loved each other from that time. When they grew up, they got married and continued loving together. Definitely, they exchanged diamonds at their wedding. The story was not creative, but it could show the strategy directly and the time was 1995.
In fact, even though the TVCs of first stage used Chinese scenes and many traditional copywriting, there was no difference between western campaigns and Chinese ones, because the main idea was the same, to show diamond is a symbol of love. So we can say that in this stage JWT’s works did not show the real local love of Chinese. After a new round of research, they found a point which was different between western girls and Chinese girls. In western, the romantic takes a vital important role, when romantic is gone, the marriage is over. This is also a reason why the divorce rate is higher than China.
However, in China, as long as girls get married, they will think more about the families, the children, careers and so on. The point is western girls care about “romantic”, but Chinese girls care about the family and the future. As a result, in second stage, the direction was changed into “beautiful future” which could show local love better. A good marriage should not only means romantic, but the beautiful future struggled by both people. After this stage, the diamond had already related with love closely. JWT only spent 7 years achieving such a big achievement. The diamond culture had already rooted in people’s hearts.
In third stage, the female status advances year by year and they play more and more important roles in every industry. They seek for independence and do not want to be an accessory in marriage, devote themselves to families. So the direction is “diamond is the best friend of women”. They want to encourage women buy diamond for themselves, not just waiting men buy for them. Showing their lights and charms by diamonds.
I think this is a brilliant campaign! It can be called as a “big idea”. The slogan-A diamond is forever used for about 70 years and never be changed, but the advertising campaigns’ directions are changed a lot because of different historical backgrounds, so that the big idea can move with times and is liked by different age groups. Actually, there were a lot of big idea in advertising history. The Beetle’s “Think small”, Glico’s running person, Nike’s “Just do it”, Apple’s Think different and so on. Every big idea keeps for several tens of years, and there are different representations showing at different time. As a result, when we do our own project, we can also consider that the idea we got, if it can continue for a long-term, 5 years? 10 years? Even longer. Maybe we can do some improvements based on this point.