Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Waiting for the World to Change...


Show of hands - how many of you out there bought a watch because Warren Beatty was given one as a freebie at a film event, or because Arsenal slapped their logo on the dial?  I think we all know the answer to that - if you had, both JEANRICHARD and Girard-Perregaux would be in much better fiscal shape than they are now.

Did you run out to buy an Hublot when Floyd (I show my love for the mother of my children in a physical way) Mayweather was presented a watch?

Did you buy an Audemars Piguet in joy and jubilation following a Serena Williams grand slam win?

Did a burning desire to own a Maurice Lacroix overcome you when you read via Facebook that they were sponsoring cliff diving?  REALLY?!??!!!

Did you fly to the authorized retail partner to buy an Huatlence when Eric Cantona signed on?  Okay, bad example.  True confession, I would buy "King Eric's" old t-shirts and frame them - he's the shit that killed Elvis!  But to buy an Hautlence?  Gotta' draw the line somewhere, and I would rather have four walls and a roof than live in my car with an Hautlence on my wrist ; )  Should Hautlence ever deem to actually, I don't know, invite me to some of their "events" I might be willing to modify this opinion ; )

But ask yourself this question -

What (if any) return on investment do you think a watch brand receives when they plop hundreds of thousands (if not millions) on a promotional partnership?

Yachts?  Racing cars?  Super models?  And what REALLY drives these choices?  It is vanity, artifice and frankly a good flush of investor money straight down the toilet of waste to satisfy the ego of watch executives.  Does it drive sales?  Maybe not so much when one of your biggest "stars" rewards his team mates with a different company's watches... sorta' a kick in the dick seeing as you gave the guy like, a "Bajillion Dollars" to wear your watch and try to appear happy about it.  Just sayin' ...

I'm tired.  I'm tired of it, and I don't want to write about it any more.

And here's the irony - many of these brands actually do good, donate money, participate in charitable actions - but it's almost as if they are ashamed of having the world know about it.

Watch brands - if you do something GOOD, something FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP - FU*&ING TALK ABOUT IT!  Stop burying your good deeds with more fodder about your latest ambassador from Taiwan, or how Jeremy Renner "chose" your watch for the "red carpet", or that some "long in the tooth" supermodel is your latest partner - nobody gives a shit anymore.  It costs a great deal of money and frankly you could do more with that money and get MORE POSITIVE publicity - which frankly is what you were trying to do in the first place, right?

What could you do?  Well thank you for asking, allow me to suggest:

Look to Rolex and Hermes and what their foundations do.  You could endow scholarships.

If you like football (soccer) as much as so many of you claim, you could donate some money NOT to a pro team that needs money like it needs a hole in the head - you could give the money to a really GOOD organization like Grass Roots Soccer.  Be involved in soccer, be involved in education and help to stop the spread of AIDS.  Seems like a pretty good deal, doesn't it?  Still want to have big-time soccer people involved?  No problem, they've got you covered:
Christen Press, Elton John, Freddie Ljungberg - I think any brand would be proud and frankly lucky to have these folks attached them.  And for the brave watch company that says - "YES, We want to be a part of this!"  I guarantee there will be football stars who will gladly join you.  As odd as it sounds, doing good can be good for business.  But I also realize that you've done it the same way for the past 20 years or so.  Change is hard, because it requires you to admit that maybe, just maybe the world has changed and you have not kept up with it.  

Audemars Piguet's well-quoted slogan is: "To break the rules you must first master them".

I would do them one better: "To be relevant in the world you must first participate in it."

The brand that's ready to do that - I am ready to fly the flag for.

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