I Am Loved®
Three Little Words that Come From the Heart
Something remarkable happens when you say to yourself, "I Am Loved." And the feeling is infinitely more extraordinary when the sentiment comes from someone else. It's no surprise that Barnett Helzberg Jr.'s idea for a button, printed with these three words, has been so genuinely meaningful to so many people.
Barnett is Loved
I Am Loved® was conceived in 1967 by Barnett Helzberg Jr., the thirty-something, third generation president of Kansas City-based Helzberg Diamonds. A young lady named Shirley Bush had just accepted Barnett's marriage proposal. To know she said yes...to know he was loved...Barnett was ecstatic! He wanted to tell the world!
Barnett Shares the Love
Barnett started developing an advertising concept around his euphoria - he drew a lapel button with the words "I Am Loved" and wrote some ad copy that encouraged other guys to either buy their girls a diamond - or give them a button - but be sure to do something to "tell her she's loved". At first Barnett was embarrassed of the idea and threw it away, but the next morning he impulsively fished the drawing out of the wastebasket to show to the company's advertising artist. The artist liked the concept and came up with the button design almost immediately!
Helzberg Shares the Love
The I Am Loved® campaign was announced in a newspaper ad in The Kansas City Star in November 1967. Helzberg initially ordered 50,000 buttons, but the supply was exhausted almost immediately. The company placed emergency rush orders to meet the button requests. Within weeks, I Am Loved® became a national movement - it seemed everybody, everywhere, wanted buttons. Helzberg obliged all requests for buttons at no charge, whether the request came from a community where Helzberg had a store or not - and many did not.
I Am Loved® is Famous
An article by the New York Associated Press reported, "The latest craze is to show your affection by sending your heroes I Am Loved® buttons. Among the notables receiving buttons were President Lyndon B. Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Joe Namath, Jose Ferrar and Sammy Davis, Jr." I Am Loved® buttons quickly made their way to loved ones in Vietnam, and at Christmas Helzberg offered to send a postcard with a button to any serviceman free of charge.
I Am Loved® Continues to Grow
The buttons were immediately popular with religious groups and schools, and it wasn't long before I Am Loved® spread around the world. Helzberg responded by producing buttons in French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Japanese, Italian, German, Hebrew, Chinese and Portuguese. Warming the hearts of sick children or far away soldiers made the I Am Loved® campaign more than a jewelry store promotion, even more than a marketing phenomenon. I Am Loved® became an icon...a timeless expression of love...three little words straight from the heart.
So, surprise her with a heartfelt gift in a burgundy box from Helzberg Diamonds. And if you're not quite ready for that, give her a little red I Am Loved® button-free at your favorite Helzberg Diamonds location. Or if you need a larger quantity of buttons, you can order online. Whatever you do, just make sure she knows she's loved.