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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Commentary Of The Month
March 23, 2005
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Wedded to The West
Robyn Meredith, 03.14.05

A decade of advertising has changed Chinese traditions, maybe forever.

A Chinese fable has it that when babies are born, a Chinese version of Cupid ties a red string around the ankle of a baby boy and baby girl destined to meet and marry later in life. The lucky-colored leash is today taking on a sparkle.

In just a decade De Beers Group has caused diamond sales in China to quintuple to 2.3 million stones last year. Along the way it has changed wedding traditions in a nation of 1.3 billion, using everything from advertising to staging parades to planting plots in television shows to convince the Chinese that zuan shi heng jiu yuan, yi ke yong liu chuan, or--you guessed it--"a diamond is forever."

There was no such thing as a diamond wedding ring or engagement band in China until De Beers started marketing diamonds there in 1993. In traditional Chinese weddings the dress is red, not white, and the gift from the groom's family is jade or gold jewelry.

Now many young brides wear white and often as not sport a crystalline rock. Diamond sales in China reached $1.2 billion in 2003. And that was after television and magazine advertisements from JWT (né J. Walter Thompson) appeared in just 11 eastern Chinese cities. Last year the Diamond Trading Co., De Beers' rough-diamond sales and marketing arm, expanded its advertising campaigns to 9 more cities, and this year it plans television, magazine and newspaper ads touting diamond wedding rings in 17 additional Chinese cities.

"This has happened much more quickly than we ever thought it would," says Christina Hudson, marketing director for greater China at the unit of the world's biggest diamond miner. DTC spent $5 million advertising the gems in China last year.

How did De Beers do it? Think of it as the perfect storm for Chinese boyfriends everywhere. Fifty years of communism, and especially a decade of Mao's Cultural Revolution, interrupted many Chinese traditions. Now advertisers like De Beers are offering the Chinese an ingrained Western tradition to supplant a largely unfamiliar one of their own. " Young generations are as familiar with diamonds as they are with jade," says Huang Hung, chief executive of China Interactive Media Group, publisher of Chinese-language Seventeen.