Diamonds on the red carpet are a famous Hollywood tradition that fills never-ending columns in fashion magazines and celebrity gossip news. Yet the appearance of a designer diamond necklace on a celebrity at the Oscars or Emmys is no accident. Rather, the diamonds you see on the red carpet are the result of months of planning, networking, negotiating and pain-staking selection. An army of stylists, publicists and designers are involved. Make no mistake – the red carpet appearance is a business, and diamonds on the red carpet are a sought-after marketing opportunity for the world’s most glittering brands – and even the lesser known ones.
What Fuels Red Carpet Madness? The Desire for Diamonds
Behind the gossip-laden columns about who wore what on the red carpet, there’s a common motivation at work. According to one celebrity stylist speaking to entrepreneur.com, red carpet moments are both ‘inspirational and aspirational’. People look to the latest celebrity jewellery to get inspiration for new trends and styles. Yet, there is an element of ‘aspiration’ too – the fantasy that is out of reach of ordinary people. This voyeuristic longing is a part of our contemporary culture, and it is no more evident than in this piece from the Daily Mail, a photographic ode to the late Princess Diana and her magnificent jewels. It’s the common desire for fabulous diamonds, and everything they represent, which makes the red carpet a diamond hot spot.
Marketing Diamonds on the Red Carpet
If red carpet jewelry is a vicarious fantasy for the general public, it’s a very important business and marketing opportunity for the jewelry designer. When a world-famous celebrity chooses a particular jewelry piece, it is a priceless marketing boon to the designer and the brand. According to the jewellery editor of Country & Town magazine, speaking to the Telegraph, “If it’s a big star, a nominee or presenter, a lot of brands will be falling over themselves to put their jewels in the spotlight.” An appearance on the red carpet, say at the Oscars, the most coveted red carpet event for jewelers, creates huge exposure and publicity. But getting chosen is no simple feat. Months before an event, jewelry designers are networking with celebrity stylists, trying to match up their pieces to the celebrity’s taste and outfit. The jewelry pieces are sent over to the celebrity’s home or hotel room. And then the wait begins. Will they choose our piece? Will it match the dress? Will they change their mind at the last minute? It’s a heavily competitive process, and a large amount of luck is involved. But it’s undeniably also the result of years of relationship building between all parties involved – designers, stylists and stars.
Aspiration: The Key to Brand Success
For luxury jewelry designers, the red carpet is a key part of their brand image. Yet it’s the boutique, lesser-known jewelry brands that really get a boost from a red carpet appearance. Take the example of Messika, a French jeweler that caught the eye of Beyonce. The company gifted Beyonce with their “Double Glamazon” diamond ring, and the next day she posted a picture of it on Instagram. From that moment of mass exposure, everything changed. Messika has since served many more celebrities, at red carpet events too.
Even so, there don’t seem to be any marketing metrics that prove exactly how much sales increase due to red carpet exposure. Rather, jewelry designers agree that it’s more a matter of brand exposure, raising general brand awareness, and creating brand aspiration. That’s the key to true success on the red carpet.