pandora- lab-grown diamond district -2023-district-storefronts

Pandora Transforms an NYC Parking Lot into a Luxurious ‘Lab-Grown Diamond District’

“At NYFW, it’s often a lot of closed parties; we wanted to create a space that everybody could see and join because that’s a huge part of our [campaign] message—‘Diamonds for All.’ We wanted our event to have that same sort of access.”

–Erin Matson, VP-Marketing, Pandora North America

With New York City’s famed Diamond District known as the place to shop for precious gems and fine jewelry, Pandora sought to recreate its own pink-fueled version of the 47th Street district just in time for New York Fashion Week (NYFW), drawing a trendy celebrity audience and plenty of media attention for the launch of its new Lab-Grown Diamond Collection.

Over two days, Pandora popped up in Manhattan’s Astor Place, transforming a parking lot into a luxurious “Lab-Grown Diamond District” to educate consumers on the lab-grown diamond process and shine a light on its products’ high quality and standards, while also challenging long-held perceptions on diamonds and introducing its collection as fun and accessible.

“New York is obviously known for its Diamond District, so we thought this could be a really interesting way to be disruptive and showcase the range, craftsmanship and quality of the Lab-Grown Diamond Collection by using mock storefronts,” says Erin Matson, vp-marketing at Pandora North America. “At NYFW, it’s often a lot of closed parties; we wanted to create a space that everybody could see and join because that’s a huge part of our [campaign] message—‘Diamonds for All.’ We wanted our event to have that same sort of access.”

hyundai-genesis-house-hero teaserLuxury Event Strategies You Might Like:

The event’s first night was invite-only with press, celebrities, influencers and brand ambassadors flooding the Lab-Grown Diamond District. A pink carpet welcomed celebrities—including actresses Pamela Anderson, Halle Bailey and Ashley Park—and the step-and-repeat photo op remained for consumers to walk and pose for pictures on when the activation opened to the public the next day.

Just past the entrance’s pink velvet ropes, attendees encountered a diamond-shaped domed space, which served as the footprint’s centerpiece. Pandora diamond samples were used by the dome’s fabricator to create the larger-than-life signature look, and the enclosed venue was designed with shiny, mirrored surfaces all around, adding to the feeling that attendees were inside a diamond. Attendees could peruse Pandora jewelry in glass cabinets and then exit to explore a lineup of outdoor storefronts showing off the brand’s new collection.

A gemologist was on hand to offer insight on the differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds, and give attendees up-close diamond viewing opportunities using a magnifier. Attendees did their best trying to guess which diamond was which, but they were often stumped differentiating between the two types, Matson says.

Mock billboards featuring models Pamela Anderson and Precious Lee were stationed throughout the pop-up district. A custom-printed newspaper with Grace Coddington on the front page and information about the lab-grown diamond campaign was available for pickup from pink newspaper boxes to tie the activation back to its New York setting.

Local food trucks in a matching pink hue provided attendees with tacos, chips and guacamole, and burgers. Sunset-colored cocktails; dj sets by Kesh, Mona and Papi Juice; and a performance by Caroline Polachek kept the evening atmosphere lively.

Pandora_ lab-grown diamond district _2023_full footprint view

Pandora turned a parking lot into the luxurious Lab-Grown Diamond District, and avoided permitting headaches.

For its launch event, Pandora required a glamorous venue that matched the Lab-Grown Diamond Collection’s “new take on modern elegance,” and a parking lot turned out to be an unexpected choice with some logistical challenges. The Pandora team originally considered a public space or park, but with NYC’s difficult and lengthy permitting process, as well as strict policies such as not being able to serve alcohol, the parking lot offered the best location for the activation’s needs.

Painting and decorating its surrounding walls required approval from New York University, the buildings’ owner. And as part of its street takeover, Pandora partnered with the nearby Indochine restaurant to “pinkify” its outdoor dining area, and The Public Theater across the road to hang branded flags featuring imagery of lab-grown diamond jewelry and taglines like “Say yes…to myself” in front of its historic building.

“When you’re doing an event like this in the city, you actually come to realize pretty quickly that there aren’t that many open spaces that you can take over in a prominent way and create that level of experience, especially during NYFW,” Matson says. “We didn’t go out specifically looking for a parking lot, but it made sense to us being in an amazing part of the city downtown. We were able to make the best of the buildings that surrounded it and turn those into branding moments.”

The queues were long, and curious passersby were snapping photos and videos of the commotion inside the Lab-Grown Diamond District. Close to 600 participants attended the VIP launch, and thanks to global press coverage and social posting from celebrities, brand ambassadors and attendees, the event generated 6 billion media impressions—a brilliant success for the Pandora team.

“We’ve started to do a lot more experiential to engage customers, and it’s going to be something that we’ll continue to do as part of our brand journey. We’ve seen that events are such a critical part of our press strategy and our publicity in terms of really driving engagement, reach and momentum around the brand,” Matson says. “The team did a fantastic job turning something that’s unexpected into something really beautiful, which, to be honest, is the nature of diamonds.” Agency: Invisible North.


Step Inside the Lab-Grown Diamond District:

Photo credit: Courtesy of Pandora/BFA

Receive the latest news and special announcements from Event Marketer


© 2024 Access Intelligence, LLC – All Rights Reserved. |