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February 10, 2020

Big Spending Comes in Little Boxes

There are many ways to surprise that special someone this Valentine’s Day, but television advertisers encourage viewers to do so with jewelry. In the past two weeks, there has been $30M spent by television advertisers in the jewelry retail industry as marketers look to drive viewers to their stores before Valentine’s Day. While the major players may all agree that it is logical to increase spending prior to the big day, the strategies that they deploy vary greatly. A recent study by identifies these strategies and explores how each retail jeweler is spending its television advertising budget.

Jewelry retailers advertise heavily in the weeks leading up to holidays such as Valentine’s Day. In 2019, Helzberg Diamonds, Jared, Kay Jewelers, Pandora, and Zales spent over $75M on television advertising, or one-fifth of their total yearly spend, in the three-week time period leading up to February 14. In total, retail advertisers spend 75% of their budget in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Black Friday, and Mother’s Day.

So far this month, we have seen $27M spent in television advertising with various approaches employed. While Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Pandora have focused on prime time advertising, Zales has focused 20% of its ad runs on weekday mid-mornings and 11% on Saturday afternoons. By comparison, Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Pandora have focused less than 1% of their ad runs on mid-mornings and 2% on Saturday afternoons, concentrating more on the prime and prime access dayparts (72% of their ad runs as compared to Jared’s 14%). Helzberg Diamonds, meanwhile, has gone with the approach of targeting all dayparts, with no more than 12% of their ad runs being in any given daypart.

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Although Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Pandora target the prime daypart, they do so across different affiliates and networks. Jared focuses 50% of its ad runs on NBC and 42% on ABC with minimal spending on CBS and FOX. Pandora, meanwhile, advertises more heavily on CBS and less so on NBC (14%) and ABC (7%). Kay tends to hit all of the four major affiliates, with 32% of its runs this month on ABC, 21% on NBC, 19% on FOX and 14% on CBS.

What is more interesting are the types of programs on which these jewelry retailers advertise. While Helzberg Diamonds may not spend as much as other competitors in the space, they cater to a male audience, advertising on shows such as Futurama, SportsCenter and Star Trek that tend to be watched by a male audience (60%). Kay Jewelers, meanwhile, advertises on shows such as Bachelor and Ellen’s Game of Games and, in the process, targets an audience that is 52% female.

No matter the strategy that a retailer employs in television advertising, can help you identify it and track it over time.

Brian Coughlin (

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