Infiltrating Culture

Human cultures have always had their own peculiar ways of functioning. Some make intuitive sense, others seem illogical and most importantly, some seem extremely random. It is this cultural residue that I would like to discuss. How does it tie back to Public Relations? That will become increasingly clear as we begin to understand the inner workings of the system at hand.

When it comes time to propose to your significant other, you have to figure out what you will say, where it will take place, all the other little details. Most significantly (at least in her mind) how big/expensive will the diamond be? Now stop for just a moment and think about when we started this strange tradition of proposing with a diamond ring? Initially just a Western phenomenon, it has spread all over the world and become part of popular culture. It did not just get there by itself, it was masterfully placed there.

De Beers, a family of companies that dominate the diamond market, were responsible for this phenomenon. The great secret to De Beers’ success was a marketing campaign that has permeated our culture –convincing every woman that she should r¬eceive a diamond ring from her fiancé and c-onvincing each groom-to-be to pay “two-months salary” for that ring to show how much his love is worth.
“A diamond is forever” is the ingenious slogan of their campaign which continues to this day. So the next time you choose to purchase or receive a diamond as a symbol of love and commitment, remember that it is your affection that makes a few people very, very rich.

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