It's official: The diamond-wearing DeBeers shadows are dead. In their place will be--gasp!--real people.
Over the last few months J. Walter Thompson in New York has been evolving its famously elegant "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign away from the shadow characters who wear only diamonds toward shots of models, although so far those models' faces have appeared as silhouettes emerging from shadows themselves.
In a new spot for DeBeers' estimated $20 million millennium effort, however, a couple is seen in their entirety, although still in black and white (except, of course, for the diamond). The silent lovers are seen in a crowd at a downtown celebration of the turning of the millennium. As the countdown begins, the man hands the woman a jewelry box that can only mean one thing--a diamond necklace. As the clock strikes midnight, the crowd disappears and the couple embrace, as if they were the only people on earth. The spot breaks on Aug. 23.
Women liked the shadows, said creative director Ed Evangelista, because they could imagine themselves as one of them, but the agency and client wanted to "modernize" the ads. --Jim Edwards