In 1997, PT&Co. conceived "Chocolates & Diamonds," a Valentine's Day promotion for Godiva designed to generate incremental sales on what was already the brand's single busiest day.  It was also intended to reinforce Godiva's luxury positioning beyond its competitive set via association with what many consider to be the ultimate luxury product:  diamonds.  

Specifically, the original 1997 "Chocolates & Diamonds" promotion added a luxury twist to the "Willy Wonka Golden Ticket" story by bringing together what PT&Co.’s proprietary research indicated were two of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts – boxed chocolates and jewelry – via inclusion of three certificates for $10,000 one-carat diamond rings in boxes of Godiva's Valentine's Day collection.  Supporting this approach was research from the Diamond Information Center (DIC) which found that Valentine’s Day was indeed a peak time for awareness/sales of diamond jewelry.

The 2000 "Chocolates & Diamonds" promotion – which exceeded all expectations in terms of media results (and increased sales) – was viewed by PT&Co. and Godiva as an unequivocal success.  With total impressions of 100 MM+; a total of 841 placements; total ad equivalency of $1.1 billion and total PR value of $3.3 MM, Godiva Chocolatier’s 2000 “Chocolates & Diamonds” Valentine’s Day Promotion is worthy of a Sabre Award.


The unqualified success of the original 1997 "Chocolates & Diamonds" promotion – incremental Valentine's sales of 15 percent and media impressions of 100MM+ for the period January-April 1997 – created its own challenge in 2000:  how to renew the promotion as an annual event in its fourth year to sustain, if not increase the momentum created by the first year's "Chocolates & Diamonds." 


For the first year's promotion in '97, PT&Co.-initiated research identified several important findings:  1)  Valentine's Day is the biggest boxed chocolate holiday of the year and Godiva's single busiest day and  2)  jewelry, which represents a luxury category by definition, is one of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts.  (PT&Co. consulted the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the Diamond Information Center, respectively).  When the '97, '98 and ‘99 promotions corroborated the initial findings, the  agency concluded that the inherent synergy between these two elements – super-premium chocolates and fine diamond jewelry – could continue to be effectively leveraged through value-added enhancement such as cause related marketing and celebrity tie-ins.  As with the past three promotions, the goal in '00 was to extend Godiva's positioning beyond its competitive set of super-premium chocolates to appeal to the audience for luxury products in general.


Renew relevance of "Chocolates & Diamonds" promotion by dramatically improving odds of winning and pegging the improved odds to the millennial year 2000.

Odds of winning a diamond prize in 2000’s promotion were one in 2000, marking not only the millennial milestone but also the best odds ever for "Chocolates & Diamonds."

Peg all media materials to timely "one in 2000" millennial-odds theme to renew promotion newsworthiness.

Repeat Golden Globe Awards Ceremony tie-in initiated with the ’99 promotion when agency secured the participation of actress Susan Sarandon.

Secure a 2000 Golden Globe actress nominee to wear Grand Prize to the January Awards Ceremony in exchange for a contribution to a charity of her choice.

Leverage celebrity tie-in in all “Chocolates & Diamonds” 2000 PR support to generate incremental media coverage.


Renew Godiva's "Chocolates & Diamonds" Valentine's Day concept in 2000.  Specifically, sustain the momentum of incremental sales, media coverage and consumer interest/participation generated by the first promotion in1997. 


Dramatically increase the odds of winning.

Leverage media interest in millennial year 2000 by creating one in 2000 odds.

Anniversary the timely, cause-related celebrity component first added in the 1999 promotion involving the association with a Golden Globe Award nominee to add newsworthiness and achieve high-profile celebrity media coverage.

Help client develop internal communications/directives specifically designed to generate greater understanding/support for promotion among distribution channel employees, particularly those at Godiva boutiques and department stores as well as those at alternate sales channels – Godiva Web site, 800 number, etc. 


Enhanced Odds/Millennial Tie-In:  326 diamond prizes heralded not only the millennium but also the best odds ever for "Chocolates & Diamonds":   approximately one in 2,000.   In addition to the Grand Prize – a stunning 8.8-carat diamond necklace valued at approximately $125,000 – the fourth annual "Chocolates & Diamonds" featured winning certificates for 325 diamond solitaire necklaces hidden in specially marked boxes of Godiva’s "Timeless Romance" Valentine’s Day collection.  The 8.8-carat diamond necklace – which featured a triple-diamond drop to represent the three millennia – was the Grand Prize of Godiva's Fourth Annual "Chocolates & Diamonds" Valentine's Day promotion.

CRM Golden Globe Celebrity Association:  Agency secured the commitment of Golden Globe-nominated actress Natalie Portman to wear Godiva's Grand Prize necklace to the awards ceremony – only a few weeks before Valentine's Day – in exchange for a donation to a charity of her choice.   In addition to coinciding with the "Chocolates & Diamonds" promotion in terms of timing, the Golden Globe Awards also reinforced Godiva's gold imagery as epitomized by the brand's signature Gold Ballotin box.  Finally, Ms. Portman’s relative youth supported one of Godiva’s growth strategies:  increase the brand’s appeal with younger, aspirational consumers.

Media Support:  Agency used media vehicles to promote “Chocolates & Diamonds,” including b-roll packages, MAT release, press release mailings and intensive one-on-one pitching.

Obstacles Overcome

Renewing media interest in a promotion that was into its fourth year as an annual event.

Identifying/negotiating the celebrity association with one of the Golden Globe Awards’  best-actress nominees in the brief window of time between nominations announcement in December and Awards event in January.


Critical mass of media coverage achieved:

Total impressions for “Chocolates & Diamonds” promotion in ’00 were 100 MM+; total placements were 841 (591 broadcast and 250 print); total ad equivalency was $1.1 billion and total PR value  was $3.3 MM – high numbers by any standard, they  were achieved not only during a limited four-month period, but for a promotion that was in its fourth year, as well.  In addition to local media, key broadcast coverage included “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “Entertainment Tonight” and CNN/Fn,  and key print placements included Woman’s World, InStyle, The New York Times, Sunday Star-Ledger, The Dallas Morning News and Miami Herald.

Incremental sales:  

The fourth annual  "Chocolates & Diamonds" exceeded Godiva's expectations in terms of increased comp sales specifically attributed to the promotion.  The results are as follows:  a 24 percent incremental sales increase from Valentine's Day '99 (despite the fact that Valentine's Day was already Godiva's single busiest day).

Sales of Godiva Chocolatier’s “Timeless Romance” Valentine’s Day 2000 collection were 24 percent over 1999’s, with all channels showing positive growth.

Retail and Direct Channels led the collection sales growth with increases of +33 percent and +31 percent, respectively.

The Godiva boutique comp store dollar trend for the “Timeless Romance” Valentine’s Day 2000 collection was +15.9 percent.  This helped fuel a seasonal comp store trend of +18.2 percent and a total comp store trend of +10.3 percent for the month of February.

Sales of eligible skus drove sales of the entire collection.  Eligible skus represented 78 percent of collection dollar sales while only representing 59 percent of available skus – identical to ’99.

Return on Investment:
Based on the “Timeless Romance” sales growth of 24 percent over 1999, this represents a whopping 320 percent ROI on Godiva’s PR investment.