Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What is the Message?

So in a series of conversations over the past week with people on every side of the industry, the main common theme has been "ambassadors" and the "presentation" phenomenon.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, in my "other life" working behind the scenes for a few different brands I do find myself negotiating to get ambassador partnerships and watch presentations set up.  But more and more the question that many people in the watch media (myself included) keep finding ourselves asking is - what's the connection?

In some instances it is very easy - OMEGA and astronauts/the space program.

In others, it just really seems to be an almost random connection.  And if I am really, really honest, I personally don't give a baker's &^$! which watch a rock star, NBA star, hollywood actor is wearing on the red carpet.  You give someone a watch, most likely they'll wear it - for the photo op.  But in all honesty, what does that really gain the brand?  And then (at least for me) what happens to the watch next?  Is it actually worn by the celebrity?  JLC gave "Don Draper" a Reverso - yet you would never see or hear much about it again.  Bovet presented him with a watch for winning their celebrity Domino event - and yet I don't see him wearing that one either.

Think I'm being too critical?  Maybe so, but riddle me this - a brand seems to be more interested in this type of publicity rather than to use it to help promote their charity?  In all fairness, OMEGA and Girard-Perregaux (to name two) do put some of their PR money in this direction.  Now perhaps I am just too idealistic, perhaps I don't live in the real world.  But I do think that when we are talking about watch brands that have several hundred thousand dollars to really flush down the PR toilet on one-off "grin and grip" photo ops, I honestly think that they could afford $10,000 to spend on a REAL charity - unless maybe there is one for Mad Men stars watch funds ; )

Just a thought.

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