So it was the 1930s. Things were spiralling downwards on either side of the Atlantic. America was now in the middle of a full-blown recession — what was called the Great Depression. 

Everything was down and out. At De Beers, the diamond company, sales were flat. The company needed a strategy to revv up demand. So in 1938, they hired ad agency N.W. Ayer to design a new campaign. 

A 2008 De Beers television commercial.

Ayer was famous for their social approach to advertising. They conceived of the idea of creating an emotional link to diamonds, working up the sentiments of love around diamonds. 

In 1947, Frances Gerety, a copywriter on the De Beers account at Ayer’s, distilled it all in the now iconic line ‘A Diamond is Forever’. Forever sealing the link between romance and diamonds! ‘A ‘Diamond is Forever’ has been since one of the longest running campaigns in advertising history. 

Frances Gerety, who conceived of the iconic line ‘A Diamond is Forever’. She went on to do all of De Beer’s copy for over 25 years.

Interestingly, at a routing creative meeting, Gerety’s colleagues in the copy department, almost all of them men, didn’t think too much about the line, saying it didn’t mean anything whatsoever! 

But that line had a slightly different destiny, becoming the stuff of advertising legend!