Monday, December 15, 2014

Something is Broken - I'm Calling Bullshit

So maybe, just maybe it is time to hit the pause button and ask an uncomfortable question -

What the hell is the watch industry really spending their marketing money on?

In the past three or four months, one or two major watch brands spent (I can only assume) hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly "A-list" watch journalists to Iceland and South Africa (among other places) to see and report on something that may or may not have anything to do with watches.  I say may or may not because for the most part, none of these folks have reported much on their field trip apart from a handful who whined and complained about the "struggle of business class travel".  One person did post a lot of very good photos, and actually did seem to be doing some actual "reporting".

Now this is not about me, this is not about the brands, this is about common sense.  Is a brand director, CEO, head of marketing being a good steward of SHAREHOLDER's investment by flying large groups of people all over the globe at great cost to their brand so that they can wine, dine and entertain them?  HONESTLY???  The journalists and editors NEED YOU TO BUY ADVERTISING!!!  They want you to like them, they are going to write nice things about you.  It is a bit like trying to impress someone who already likes you.  Really?  Why don't you just take $100,000 and just flush it down the toilet and save time?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the little "treats" when they trickle down to the third tier.  I clap like a trained seal when I get a new Moleskin notepad or an iPad case.  But I've always been a cheap date with marginal self-esteem ; )

So when you ask why does my "uber-luxury" watch cost so much?  Just keep in mind that someone wanted to air-freight several journalists out to some remote, exotic location for an all expense paid trip to look at scenery and stay in (I can only assume as I was not invited) upscale accommodations.  "Oh, you the watch buyer didn't get anything out of that?  Well, that's the cost of doing business, and buying one of our watches - we realize that you have a lot of choices when selecting a luxury watch brand, and we appreciate that you will read with wonder about the folks we provided a very expensive trip who may or may not write about it and how it even vaguely pertains to the watch that you just dropped $17,000 on."

Yes, it is luxury, but it would seem that as the consumer you are paying for someone elses' luxury experience.

Now, I am going to sit back and wait for the multiple BaselWorld appointments that I will now have cancelled on me  ; )

I understand that this is the way it is and has been for some time, but maybe it's time for things to change?

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