Diamond iPad : A Smart Social PR Campaign with SEO Focus

This morning I started my day in a rather unqiue fashion which did not involve rushing into the office or trying to find some time to run to the gym. I brewed a cup of coffee, sat down on the sofa and turned on the morning news. MSNBC’s Morning Joe is usually my morning news of choice, but today I picked CNN’s Headline News and zoned out, catching up on the stories of the morning.

One of the first stories on the “news” was the buzz surrounding a $19,999 diamond encrusted Apple iPad. The first thing that came to my mind was “Is Apple pulling a Victoria’s Secret?” but after listening to the story, it was not Apple at all that put out the diamond iPad, nor is there an official diamond iPad. The actual story is Mervis Diamond Importers, a pretty large diamond store in the DC/Northern Virginia area, has announced a prototype diamond iPad which according to Mervis will be available for ordering in June.

Social Media & Blog Coverage

I work on the campaigns of a couple of jewelry clients, and have a little bit of understanding of the diamond market, and a rather large understanding of PR and online buzz, and the first thing that poppedin my head was “they probably just put a bunch of diamonds on an iPad and utilized their public relations people to get this story out … I wonder how the coverage is on the web and if they have this on their site?

So, the investigative search & social analyst in me led to the finishing of that cup of coffee and the firing up of my laptop. I first searched for “diamond ipad” and the online buzz and coverage surround the Mervis PR campaign was staggering.

Not only are all of the results stories that covered the Mervis announcement over the past 2 days on A List blogs that write on luxury, apple products or gadgets (and I mean A LIST like Gizmodo, Engadget, Luxist and Mashable) but Google is also showing that the Mervis campaign is big enough to serve Google News Results and Real Time in the “diamond ipad” search results. Coverage and links from a rather massive percentage of the Technorati Top 100?!?! Looking at the inbound links to the Mervis page, this portfolio is the best of the best. This is a social media marketer’s dream come true!

The great thing about the gadget blog market is that once you’re on engadget or Gizmodo … you’re on every blog! I also noticed that the Luxist is in the mix. Of course the Luxist and engadget are both blogs that were originally part of Jason Calacanis’s Weblogs Inc. and are now AOL properties. Mervis is based in Northern Virgina and AOL is in Reston, VA. I’m guessing someone at Mervis or their PR firm has some pull with AOL. Uh oh … isn’t CNN a Turner company too? Connection here?

Hitting one major media outlet helped this Mervis campaign get coverage all over the place. Journalists need something to talk about, bloggers need something to write about. This Mervis news trickled down the AOL ladder into the rest of the blogosphere bigtime! It’s Trickle Down Link-o-Nomics in action!

Is there a Diamond iPad?

Public relations and blogger outreach (and TV coverage) aside, what really struck me with this campaign is when I clicked over to the Mervis page :

I had expected a video of the diamond iPad sleeve or enlarged images of Ronny Mervis holding the diamond iPad prototype and you know what the page has on it? It looks like a photoshoped image of a diamond iPad that some high school kid put together! Seriously. I’m not meaning to minimize an intelligent campaign like this, but this webpage probably cost Mervis about $5 and 10 minutes of time to develop. It’s insanly cost effective and simple. There’s really nothing to it and no solid proof that the Diamond iPad is nothing more than a concept or Mervis just thinking of a way to unload unsold inventory of diamonds. GENIUS!! The Mervis Diamond iPad that everyone is taking about is an IDEA!

Like the Million Dollar Bra, I’m sure Mervis will make one of these diamond iPad prototypes and display it in one of their stores in the DC area, call in the local press, get some foot traffic and maybe even raffle it off. But for the time being … it’s a photoshop concept! Well done Mervis!

How SEO Enters the Picture

The final piece of the Mervis Diamond iPad triple threat is the landing page :



For those of you who don’t know, Tacori is a diamond setting company, not a diamond company and Tacori is a very competitive term in Google due to the strength of the brand and the predefined intent of the searcher to buy a Tacori product. Mervis already ranks in the Top 10 for “tacori” mervisdiamond.com/tacori-rings and NOW after a couple of days the Diamond iPad page ranks #3 (after shopping and image results) for “tacori diamonds”.

I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I think we’re seeing that a smart URL, site structure, relevant content and a massively smart and timely PR campaign is building up to the end result of not only Mervis getting some natural power links and possibly selling some $20K iPads … but the residual result of the store dominating a competitive search term for a long time which will result in long term sales, loyalty and building the strength of their brand. WOW. This is a SEO, social media and public relations campaign for the ages! WELL DONE Mervis