DeBeers also used the glamor and romance of Hollywood to further the idea that a diamond is desirable. Hollywood actresses were the social media influencers in their day. People wanted to be like them and to buy the things they wore. The company’s advertising agency kept track of which celebrities were wearing diamonds, and how large those diamonds were. The company’s photographers would take pictures and provide them to fashion magazines, which would publish this information as important fashion news. That may all seem old-fashioned by current standards, but in the 1940s, it did the trick. As a final piece of its impressive marketing, DeBeers only released a small number of diamonds from their mines each year. That made the diamonds seem rare, and people were therefore willing to pay even more for them. Because of this persuasive advertising, most women of the time came to believe that a man had to prove his love by purchasing an expensive diamond engagement ring. Both men and women associated a diamond with a promise for a forever marriage. DeBeers tapped into the emotion of love and a desire to keep up with societal expectations, even though these expectations hadn’t existed before the campaign. The advertising was so effective that very quickly people began to believe that this tradition had always existed. Few people questioned it. The truth was that the diamond company was using psychology to manipulate everyone. However, the marketing was so effective that the public did not feel manipulated and believed that the diamond engagement rings made them a happier couple. If a company can make someone believe they’re supposed to be happy because of owning something like a diamond ring, they really can become happier but only for a short time. Although the diamond engagement ring trend has declined over the last 20 years, the marketing and advertising team at DeBeers put a lot of effort into understanding their customers,

Chapter 1: Becoming an Advertising and Marketing Psychologist


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