DeBeers Spreads Love in Valentine’s Day Promo

Don’t be surprised if a camera crew shows up at your doorstep at 5 a.m. to film the extent to which someone close to you would “drop everything for love.”

For Valentine’s Day, JWT has created a site for diamond retailer DeBeers that allows consumers to record webcam declarations of their love at

A more dramatic feature of the site has JWT film crews filming the journeys of nine participants—traveling both short and long distances—to surprise their partners. One video follows David, a young tech hipster at a San Diego non-profit, as he surprises blonde South African paramour Kirsten on the beaches of Cape Town with a DeBeers diamond ring.

“We’re working with the intensity and MO of a political campaign on something that’s like independent filmmaking,” said Sally Morrison, a director in charge of the DeBeers account at JWT. “This is a greater embrace of social media for DeBeers and a huge step for us in engaging people about what love means in this particular digital environment.”

The viral initiative has no traditional media support, with initial awareness driven by Facebook, retailer emails to consumers, and ads on the homepages of sites like the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Since going live last week, within the first couple of days, the site received nearly 300 submissions. Entourage actress Debi Mazur is one of them, waxing to the webcam about her nine-year romance with Italian husband Gabriele Corcos. For the JWT-shot videos, people can submit their own stories, or nominate others, on the site or through Facebook.

There is no obvious DeBeers affiliation although the black-and-white site is designed with a diamond facet motif, which appears to sparkle when a cursor passes over it. The promotion features the company’s Everlon love knot jewelry collection. DeBeers, like other luxury marketers, has taken a sales hit in the economic downturn, and the site’s copy reflects the current climate: “Because this year is not about the things you give or receive, it’s about the strength of your love.”

“This keeps people focused on the category even if they’re not in the purchase cycle,” said Morrison. “We realize that with the events of the last 18 months not everyone is ready to pull the trigger on a diamond purchase.”

The site will stay up through the end of the month and possibly longer, depending on consumers’ response to it.