Royal recognition at Effies for Ceylon Sapphire campaign by Grants

Monday, 5 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ceylon Sapphire online campaign created by Grant Group for their client SLGJA in partnership with EDB was recognized with an Effie award for being the “Most Effective Marketing Campaign” at the recently concluded Effies. The campaign was executed prior to the royal wedding of the new Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William earlier this year.

It was the sole winner within this category. The main objective of the campaign was to establish the Blue Sapphire on Kate Middletons engagement ring is a Ceylon Blue Sapphire and to create awareness of the high quality of the gem and also increase its perceived value.    “Over three decades ago, when a Ceylon Sapphire was shipped to London and used in the royal engagement ring worn by Princess Diana, we didn’t have an opportunity to create any awareness about the fact that this ring was in fact a Ceylon Sapphire. When Prince William used it to propose to Kate Middleton, we didn’t want to waste another opportunity,” said Altaf Iqbal, the Project Chairman of the Ceylon Blue Sapphire Campaign.  “We approached Grant and asked them to help us in our task- we wanted the world to realize that this beautiful and unique stone wasn’t just any blue sapphire. And it’s been amazing to see the response now that the world does know where this beautiful stone came from and the rich, royal history associated with it.” The campaign was launched weeks prior to the wedding with the goal of creative awareness about the origin of the blue sapphire on the famed ‘Diana Ring.’

It consisted of several digital elements including the Ceylon Sapphire website  - a culmination of the rich history of the stone and its distinctive association with royalty, the history of the ring worn by Kate Middleton, Sri Lanka’s gem industry and the unique facets of the Ceylon Sapphire; a Facebook campaign was launched to gather support from the many who owned Ceylon Sapphires; subsequently a web banner ad campaign targeting the fashion elite via Websites such as Vogue, Glamour, GQ was also launched; a Twitter personality based on Kate’s engagement ring that live-tweeted the royal wedding, displaying the ring’s charm and regality, harnessing hundreds of Twitterati in the task of spreading the word about the exclusive stone; and partnering with the Park Lane Hilton Hotel to host the ‘The Ceylon Sapphire High Tea’ in honour of the royal wedding.

“This is definitely one of the first times that a campaign of this nature has been run in Sri Lanka and the success has been tremendous.

We initially targeted 300 media personnel who were in London for the Royal wedding and our goal was to educate them about where the Ceylon Sapphire on the engagement ring came from.

 The campaign went viral within days and we saw it being discussed on many websites from BBC in the UK to online news sites in China and Russia and many forums across the world and passed via Twitter and Facebook at an incredible rate,” said Neela Marikkar, Chairperson of the Grant Group.

The campaign proved to have accomplished its secondary goal of increasing both the value of the gem within the market and a rise in sales upon the completion of the campaign with the whole world buzzing about Ceylon Blue Sapphires.

 “The EDB is very pleased with the result of the campaign for the Ceylon Sapphire. Although we originally planned for it to be a brand building exercise, we’ve seen a remarkable impact on our sales with Bloomberg reporting that the Sri Lankan gem exports has risen by 37% as of October this year.  

This campaign showcases how innovative campaigns like the Ceylon Sapphire campaign can achieve great results for our country,” said Janaka Ratnayake, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association

 “The effect that the campaign has had on the gem industry in Sri Lanka and in particular the Ceylon Blue Sapphire has been tremendous.

We’ve seen a significant rise in sapphire sales since the campaign and I’m confident it’s going to keep growing. We’re delighted to have partnered with the Grant Group on this initiative and to have been involved in such an effective campaign,” stated Deshabandu Macky Hashim, the President of the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewelry Association.