Creating a new paradigm for weddings in India

JWT Mumbai’s Diamond Bride Campaign is a great example of rock-solid strategic thinking. It demonstrates how a deep consumer insight can lead to a major change in behavior. It shows how something as rooted as tradition can be challenged and how a new paradigm can be created. De Beers India came up with a very challenging brief “How to get Indians to use more diamond jewelry instead of gold at their weddings?” A question that had no easy answers. It’s like asking women in America to wear a black dress at their weddings instead of a white one!

This meant that the battle had to be fought on a higher ground. The inherent symbolism of security, well-being, tradition and value that came with gold jewelry was not going to be easy to overcome. To win this cultural battle, the planners decided to explore the modernity, status and glamour of diamonds and give them a whole new context with respect to weddings.

The power came from personifying a gold bride and an imaginary diamond bride. The research gave clear cues of the differences between the two:
  • Gold bride
    • Traditional mindset
    • Aspires to be a dutiful wife
    • Feels financially insecure
    • Someone who is apprehensive of her in-laws
    • Will not raise her voice
  • Diamond bride
    • Well-educated
    • Forward-looking
    • Elegant
    • Casual
    • Cheerful
    • An extrovert who speaks her mind
    • Not nervous at all, even though she is getting married.
It was this personification excercise that helped place diamond jewelry for weddings in a larger context. While diamonds stood for high status, the diamond bride symbolized something much larger. She symbolized the aspirations of Indian women who wanted to be more happy than simply married. If she chose to be a diamond bride she would be able to shun all the cues of a traditional, subdued, insecure woman and be able to embrace this image of modernity, express herself freely and make her wedding day truly her own. This was the insight that the creative took forward and did a brilliant job in its execution (see TVC below).

So what is the key learning that we can draw from this as planners? For me I think it is the power of context. If we can put something in an entirely different context and yet be relevant we can uncover some big insights and inspire dramatic changes in behavior. So the next time you want someone to use more of your product or service, I think it would be a good idea to get out of context, experiment with something fresh, bounce it off with consumers and then see where it takes you!

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