Two ads. One target. Same product.

In this edition of Ad Wars we examine an ad from engagement ring creator James Allen side-by-side with The Diamond Industry’s first campaign in five years. Both advertisers are targeting Millennials and want to sell them diamonds, but who does it better?

The Diamond Industry


James Allen

While both these ads have a lot of similarities in what they’re selling and who they’re selling to, the final creatives take an entirely different approach. James Allen takes the path of least resistance and targets their ad toward people who already want to buy a diamond but just need to find the right one. The Diamond Industry, on the other hand, removes itself a bit more and instead attempts to convince Millennials they want to buy a diamond. In all fairness though, The Diamond Industry is representing an industry and not a single company so it makes sense that they’re trying to persuade viewers to buy diamonds rather than a particular diamond, but how they go about doing it seems to miss the mark.

The Diamond Industry’s messaging focuses on how you don’t have to get engaged or married, but a diamond can still be a symbol of your commitment to each other. It strives to disassociate diamonds with marriage and did so successfully, but the characters in the story felt so stereotyped that, as a Millennial, I was borderline offended and the ad lost me.

The ad begins, “It was after our first date we decided to runaway together. First to my apartment, later to Thailand, eventually to a 3rd floor walkup.” While these words paint a pretty picture it doesn’t paint a familiar one. Instead it sounds like an Instagram version of who Millennials are and how they want to live their lives. While this may be an accurate depiction for some, it isn’t for many others.

One of the more successful elements of the James Allen creative is its relatability. The couple is generic and the majority of the ad is seen from a first-person perspective anyway, as if you were the girl who just got engaged. The messaging simply focuses on how this ring will literally be shown to everyone and their mother so you better make sure it’s good. The ad is quick, simple, funny and above all else it’s entertaining.

The Winner

To me, The Diamond Industry got so wrapped up in relating to the audience that they lost them whereas James Allen just focused on creating content people would want to watch. This round goes to the ring maker.




Nicole Knox

Nicole has a passion for telling stories through multimedia. Her experience spans across industries from consumer brands to B2B clients. With a differentiated point of view, her experience allows her to find the story in any brand and tell it in a unique and engaging way to communicate effectively with their audience.