Zales taps into consumers' emotions to promote brand

Zales sponsored a giant heart installation in Times Square to engage consumers and media on the most important jewelry purchasing day of the year, Valentine's Day.

Zales sponsored a giant heart installation in Times Square to engage consumers and media on the most important jewelry purchasing day of the year, Valentine's Day. Working with AOR Richards Partners, the team hoped to leverage the sponsorship opportunity to raise awareness of the overall Zales brand, as well as its Celebration Diamond, which launched last fall.

Strategy
The team hoped to gain exposure by tapping consumer emotions, and gain consumer purchasing insight via an online contest in which it encouraged consumers to submit online content professing their love. Judges included high-profile media personalities and romance experts such as sex therapist Ruth Westheimer and Glamour columnist Michael Somerville.

“[The event] wasn't going to make an impact if we didn't pick smart judges,” says Nicolette Woodburn, brand PR manager at Richards Partners.

Tactics
The team promoted the contest via consumer e-mails, the Zales Web site, and a media release. The team reached out to media in finalists' five local markets and conducted outreach surrounding the winner and actual event, which took place on February 13. The team also captured b-roll at the event and distributed the footage to local newsrooms and national morning shows.

Results
In two weeks, more than 700 people had submitted content. After the winner professed her love in Times Square (pictured), her husband got up and sang to her, causing a perfect media moment. Good Day New York and MyFoxTV.com, among other outlets, covered the event. Outlets from finalists' hometowns also covered the campaign.

Future
Zales will continue to explore marketing and sponsorship opportunities throughout the year.

PR Team: Richards Partners and Zales (both Dallas, TX)

Campaign: Profess Your Love

Duration: January-February 2009

Budget: $40,000

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