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The Heart-Breaking Truth behind Diamond Industry



The above advertisement is a campaign for Tiffany & Co.’s famous diamond engagement rings, with a text reads “Decisions…Decisions” on the background of a question mark assembled by glamorous diamond rings in different shapes and sizes.

This ad targets the demographic who are in love and seeking an object to symbolize romance and commitment. It raises the question of “which diamond ring I should choose to express my love”, as if diamond was our natural resource to help a couple open up the doors on the pathway that leads to marriage. On the flip hand, diamond campaigns like this root in consumers’ mental schemas which set unrealistic romantic expectations that could be toxic to the relationship, as audiences begin to perceive their culture where love and consumerism are strangely entangled. The default setting in our contemporary society encourages consumers to believe that diamond is not only girl’s best friend but also the symbol of everlasting love without considering the true value of it.

The surprisingly positive social attitude towards diamonds unleashes people’s irrational desires. With the pressure of social comparison and mind of the crowd, as Edward Bernays might suggest, the sense of belonging and a need of expressing selves to others drive consumers to purchase diamond jewelries impulsively.  Popular thoughts and advertisements transform people into collectivistic consuming machines who become the key contributors to economic progress. Diamond stands out from all gems and shines through the past 100 years because of its extraordinary marketing and branding. While the diamond industry is striving from its alluring and irreplaceable image that marketers and media designed for it, it is up to civilized individuals to apply critical thinking like Naomi Klein would argue: ‘how product is produced, where it is produced, and under what circumstances it is produced’ when they are about to make a very expensive and sometimes unnecessary “decision”, because love is not for sale.



In order to minimize the impact of media construction of diamond’s utterly attractive image, and suggest audience to devote to ethical consumerism, I simply added one sentence underneath the original ad “decisions…decisions” – “It’s time to decide…how much your love worth”. The text nicely integrate into the original campaign without criticism or disrespect, however, it unfolds the strong emotions connected to diamond merchandise – a curated desire, that consumers are paying excessive attention to tangible forms of love expression, and very little logical reasoning behind the transactions.

The new ad invites audience to recognize the subliminal messages surrounding the diamond industry which is constructed and delivered by consumer market and luxury brands. Firstly, diamonds are advertised as love, loyalty, validation and success, this image is easily accessed because luxury brands and diamonds are usually associated with prestigious and influential population, such as celebrities. In addition, irrational consumers perceive diamond as an irreplaceable indicator of true love and successful bond, which cause them to pursue the over-priced products without critical thinking. Moreover, media and societies across the world perpetually purpose diamonds as the best, least abundant and most valuable gemstone, the appealing image is rooted so deeply in lots of female consumers’ perspective that they reject logic and fail to recognize the fact of our private parts of life is under the umbrella of the market, and we no longer have the freedom to choose our ways of expressing the quality and duration of love. It is safe and comfortable for girls to assume that receiving a diamond equals to receiving an unbreakable bond between the love birds. Ultimately, diamond sales are striving while the world economics is suffering and the quality of work is diminishing.

Before we go out and buy a little something to represent our love, we should truly consider “how much is our love worth”. Right now, we might say: “you can’t put a price tag on love”, but remember, that’s what the marketers are doing to us with the shiny diamonds.

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