June 13, 2014

DeBeers window display

A Madison Avenue window display. Credit: Victoria Pickering / Flickr Creative Commons

This is a tale of how some savvy businessmen turned a very small product into very big business.

As with most success stories – it started with a problem: way too much product inventory.

And what do you do when you're saddled with a lot of inventory? Well, two choices. Start selling your product off at bargain basement prices. Or make people think that the product is actually more rare than it is.

The business men in question went with option number two. Which meant placing their trust in the NW Ayer ad agency - and the power of marketing.

The campaign was successful, but it wasn’t until 1947 that a woman named Frances Gerety penned a slogan that may last...forever.

Indeed, the campaign proved so enduring that today, there’s about $70 billion of this product sold each year.

Listen to the whole story, above, to find out which product continues to sparkle in ads, movies, and music.

advertising, marketing, Culture, history

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