Russell Simmons Opens Pandora's Jewelry Box

  |  December 7, 2010   |  Comments

In a cautious online marketing effort, Simmons Jewelry Co. places nationwide display and audio ads on music site Pandora.

Simmons Jewelry Co., one of many businesses headed by music mogul Russell Simmons, only recently launched a Facebook page. But the young jewelry maker is not running ads on the social site to drive traffic to the page – not yet, anyway. Rather it has made a splash with a nationwide display and audio ad campaign on music site Pandora in time for holiday gift-giving season.

Pandora users listening to all sorts of musical genres - not just hip hop, as Simmons is famous for - are now seeing and hearing ads for the designer jewelry firm's latest line of men's rings, bracelets and chains.


Though the company ran display and interstitial ads in conjunction with a Father's Day campaign, it has been cautious about its advertising efforts - online and off. "We are a small fine jewelry company and we need to make the most with our dollars and be smart with it," explained Celeste Lee, SVP of marketing at Simmons Jewelry.

Male and female Pandora users across the country aged 20 to 45 may see ads featuring pieces from the Simmons Steel collection, an array of chunky bracelets and dog tag pendants forged from stainless steel, and packaged in a "DJ inspired collectible trunk box." They could be grooving to Latin jazz, country, or any other type of music when they're served a large display ad or a :15 audio spot in between songs.

"In focus groups we find that people who love our jewelry really love all kinds of music," Lee said. "We went fairly broad for our purposes. There was really no reason to limit it... We could have probably gone up to age 50," she added, noting the campaign is a test from which the company hopes to learn more to apply to future campaigns.

The ads - which feature slogans like "Make a statement" and "Know your strength" - launched on Black Friday and will run through December 23. Driving consumers to the homepage, the goal is to promote the jewelry as holiday gifts, mainly for men. The adornments are sold by the company's retail partners, including Kay Jewelers.

Simmons Jewelry's marketing team is comprised of Lee and two others who connect once a week with the marketing staff for its menswear collection, Argyleculture.

It helps that Simmons has a presence in several media outlets, including a reality show on Oxygen called "Running Russell Simmons," which focuses on his assistants, and on his own personal Facebook page, which has over 62,000 likes.


Additionally, over 550,000 follow his @UncleRush Twitter account, where Simmons recently retweeted a post calling Simmons Jewelry's Hello Kitty line "#Genius," and linked to the jewelry site.

His personal Facebook page recently called attention to a holiday Ebony Magazine contest to win one of three pieces of jewelry: "Takes less than a minute to join and Like Simmons Jewelry Co. too!"

Simmons's hip hop culture site, Global Grind, is also home to display ads and editorial promoting the holiday campaign, said Lee. Global Grind bought a year ago.

"This allows us to speak directly to Russel's core audience," said Lee.

The jeweler is also planning a "viral dog tag campaign" set to launch in about a week, allowing people to customize a virtual dog tag with a message and send it to someone.

So, while Simmons Jewelry may eventually run ads on Facebook to promote its page, it isn't exactly wanting for other promotional vehicles. The new jewelry company Facebook page itself should serve to provide a better understanding of the firm's audience, and may help inform future ads on the social site, said Lee. "We are going to test it," she said. "We're not as sure with the target on Facebook on steel [jewerly]."


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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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