Ad Expert Tells Jewelers To Be Generationally Correct
By Susan Thea Posnock - National Jeweler
JUNE 06, 2006 - Las Vegas -- Retailers who want to sell more jewelry may want to listen to the music their kids are playing on their iPods.
That's because jewelers must consider cultural shifts, often clearly indicated in popular music trends, when it comes to reaching consumers, says Roy Williams, a bestselling author and advertising guru.
Billed by some as the "Wizard of Ads," Williams gave a presentation sponsored by the Yehuda Diamond Co. on Saturday morning during the Las Vegas jewelry shows. He described how generational changes in attitudes and overall world views occur every 40 years and noted that advertisers must be in tune to these changes. He said the most recent shift, which began in 2003, ushered in a "we" period or "civic generation" of connectedness and teamwork.
That's in contrast to the last 40 year "idealist generation" period which he says was characterized by a "me" attitude.
Williams demonstrated these 40 year cycles using examples from touchstones such as music, advertising, pop culture and literature. In terms of its relevancy to jewelers, he notes that they must give consumers ad messages that are real and honest. While people will still buy jewelry, he says they want to be approached in a way that is less romanticized and more personal.
He gave the example of signs consumers find on the respective doors to the women's and men's rooms at the California-based Robbins Bros. engagement ring stores. The messages are meant to be a humorous and honest take on what a future bride and groom may be going through as they prepare to buy the ring.
"They buy the ring in the bathroom," Williams says. That's because the advertising works on a level that consumers can relate to. Advertising that is overly romanticized won't work with modern consumers, he says.
"We're more and more violently rejecting artificiality," he says.
Williams runs Wizard of Ads Inc., a company that aids business owners worldwide with their advertising and marketing strategies. Author of multiple books centering around his insights gained over the past 20 years of working with small business clients, Williams also travels the world to lead seminars for CEOs, consultants, educators and journalists, packaged as the three-day seminar series, Wizard Academy.
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