Putting a price on devotion

Boyfriend putting a engagement ring in his girlfriend finger

The company that created value from nothing.

Have you ever wondered why we put a diamond ring on a woman's finger when proposing? How did the diamond ring become a symbol of love in the first place? The answer is not as romantic as you might think. The association between diamonds and marriage was strategically planted into our minds by a company, and was never a traditional at all.

Before the DeBeers Diamond Corporation came into the picture in the 1930s, people rarely exchanged more than the promise to love each other forever. It was an ad campaign that forever changed the way people thought about diamonds. Back then, diamonds were considered a luxury. Consumers spent their hard earned dollars on useful things like cars and appliances, not on a carbonized rock. But DeBeers wanted to change that mindset.

They began running ads that described a diamond ring as the "most valued symbol" of a man's devotion and the ultimate gift of love. But they didn't stop there. They wanted the diamond ring to be accessible to all income levels so they decided to put a price on how much you should spend.

Men were willing to spend one or two months salary because it was an incredibly emotional purchase. DeBeers ads made consumers feel like they were in the drivers seat by educating them on what to look for when buying the perfect diamond for that special someone.

After decades of advertising, this fabricated tradition is now heavily ingrained in our minds and has actually become tradition. It convinced women that diamonds were the truest symbol of a man's love and commitment. 

What value can you bring to your customers? Could it become a tradition?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner