Helzberg Diamonds proposes new way to get engaged with 'Will You?' ring

Here's what happened when the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary broke the rules of engagement.

Company: Helzberg Diamonds
Campaign: The "Will You?" Ring
Agency mix: Carmichael Lynch Relate (PR) and Carmichael Lynch (Creative)
Duration: June 2018

Helzberg Diamonds wanted to offer couples the chance to make an engagement ring decision together without compromising the surprise of a proposal, so the jewelry retailer created the "Will You?" Ring.

Helzberg Diamonds began planning with its agency partner for the campaign, Carmichael Lynch Relate, in the spring of 2018.

Leading up to the campaign, Helzberg conducted internal research with sales associates and found that women were often disappointed with the engagement ring they received and wanted to play a more active role in the shopping process. In addition, the research showed that men were stressed about picking the perfect ring by themselves.

"From a PR perspective, we wanted to create conversation about the engagement process and introduce a new way to get engaged," explained Eric Hausman, SVP and partner at Carmichael Lynch Relate. "Rather than drive traffic to social media channels, our mission was to drive traffic to the Helzberg website."

Helzberg looked to execute a media outreach strategy focused on capturing the attention of broadcast outlets and local media in Kansas City, Missouri, where the brand is headquartered.

The brand also created several pieces of short-form content for social, all developed with the goal of driving audiences back to the company website.

The "Will You?" Ring campaign launched online and in Helzberg stores across the U.S. on June 18. The ring comes in a traditional engagement box with a pamphlet explaining its meaning, as well as an inscription on the band itself that says, "This is a ring, not the ring."

"This was a quick-turn new product launch, so we had to time our release and pitching with store availability and other marketing efforts, which shifted for a variety of reasons," said Hausman.

The brand pitched key media contacts and influencers about the activation, creating a media kit which contained a ring and information on the brand research that drove the campaign.

"In addition to the use of our own social channels, we also partnered with two lifestyle influencers, Anne Sage and Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic, to share their engagement stories and how the ‘Will You?’ Ring could be a great solution for their followers and fans," added Hausman.

View this post on Instagram

Here’s the thing about me and @sean.mcbride636... we are anything BUT traditional. We value our space, our privacy (ha, says the blogger), and our inside jokes. We are happiest while totally off the grid, surrounded by mountains and the smell of trees. If either of us felt a need for any sort of traditional lifestyle, the relationship simply would not work. Happily though, we’ve found each other and share so many key priorities! Today we partnered with @helzbergdiamonds to share our REAL engagement story + how they are changing the rules of engagement in a decidedly non-traditional and fun way with the "Will You?" Ring. ? You can catch the link to read it either in my profile or Jojotastic.com #helzberg #ad

A post shared by Jojotastic | Joanna Hawley (@jojotastic) on

In late June, NBC's "Today" show did their own Twitter poll about the campaign with 1,751 voters and a resulting 52% approval of the "Will You?" Ring. This broadcast segment helped drive additional features on other outlets.

View this post on Instagram

Meet the Will You? Ring. Pop the question without the pressure of the perfect ring.

A post shared by Helzberg Diamonds (@helzbergdiamonds) on

The "Will You?" Ring garnered more than 40 media placements, including 20 in-depth local broadcast segments in markets around the country. Some notable outlets included The Knot, Inside Edition, MSN, NBC, and Trend Hunter.

The NBC "Today" feature led directly to sales, with 5% of the people who clicked through link to Helzberg.com in the placement making a purchase that same day.

On Helzberg’s social media platforms, campaign content also outperformed a benchmark click-through rate set by the brand by 257%.

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