Friday, October 16, 2015

The Cult of Personality and Tag Heuer

So with the latest ambassador for Tag Heuer announced, I was left in a somewhat bemused state by the sugary praise ladled out by some of my colleagues in the Fifth Estate.  Several of them are also happily receiving advertising from Tag Heuer, so there is that...

Apparently, partnering with Tom Brady was in fact a GENIUS move by Jean-Claude Biver!  What I found so ridiculous about that claim was that owing to the fact that Mr. Biver's strategy of late is to focus more on the personality rather than the actual product.  I want to be clear - I think that Mr. Biver has been a visionary in many ways, he has done some amazing things with Blancpain, Omega and Hublot.  I was particularly impressed with Mr. Biver's personal donation to Wild Aid in support of Hublot's ambassador Lang Lang, as well as Tag Heuer stepping up big with their ambassador Cara Delevingne in a charity auction.  Those are actions that strengthen the bond, show a human side and build good will not only with the ambassador/partner but the customer as well.

I have been told constantly that Tom Brady does a LOT of charity work - let's hope that continues.  And point of full disclosure, my stepfather is a New England Patriots fan, and he's an asshole.  There, I've said it, so maybe my visceral dislike of the Patriots, and my lack of hero worship for Mr. Brady are based on more personal issues ; )  I have been told that I'm just jealous because I haven't won multiple Super Bowls.  I also haven't gotten my girlfriend pregnant then dumped her, so I guess we're even on the comparison scale.

But I also have to say that when you hang your message solely on people outside of your organization - focusing more on the personality rather than the watch itself, you open yourself up to some very real potential pitfalls.

Am I being fair in this statement?  Well, let's review the press release that went out following premier of the new Carrera - Heuer 01, or was it the announcement of Tom Brady as a new "chum"?

I did not attend the event in NYC, but did have a chance to speak with several of my peers who were in attendance.  And several of them were equally baffled.  Almost nothing spoken about the actual watch itself, but boy oh boy, Mr. Brady sure is handsome!

Potential pitfalls?  "Deflate Gate" is the obvious issue.  Frankly I am more baffled by Mr. Brady's attitude throughout.  Sadly, the proof was probably there - but I guess it's only cheating if you get caught... no I mean only if you get punished... or maybe only if the punishment doesn't get overturned by appeal.  Yeah!  That's it!

But as Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) reminded us in the film "Up in the Air", we sort of lose rational objectivity when it comes to professional athletes -

Ryan Bingham: You know why kids love athletes? 

Bob: Because they screw lingerie models. 

Ryan Bingham: No, that's why we love athletes. Kids love them because they follow their dreams.

But as my colleagues in the Fourth Estate always say, provide the information, let the readers decide, so courtesy of Tag Heuer, here you go - oh, and if you're looking for actual images of, I don't know, the watch... they were not in the "WeTransfer" file provided by the PR agency.  But hey, you get to look at Jean-Claude Biver, Tom Brady, and because this product release wasn't already confusing enough, Tag invited Molly Sims to be the MC, and it wouldn't be a Tag Heuer event without a promising young DJ manning the "wheels of steel"!  

Give me strength...


New York, NY October 13, 2015 – TAG Heuer is proud to announce that Tom Brady, star quarterback of the New England Patriots, and four time Super Bowl champion, is now part of the brand’s family.

Courtesy of Tag Heuer

TAG Heuer and Tom Brady celebrated the announcement in New York City on Tuesday night at the launch event for the Carrera - Heuer 01. Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Group Watch Division and CEO of TAG Heuer, called the night’s special guest onstage and surprised attendees by officially introducing Brady as a TAG Heuer ambassador.

Brady presented the new Carrera - Heuer 01a timepiece that honors the brand’s heritage and symbolizes the evolution of the Calibre 1887. The Carrera – Heuer 01 is the first of a new collection that will feature a new case, construction, design and calibre. The dial side reveals the chronograph controls and an openwork date disc while the case-back includes a red column wheel, and a skeleton chronograph bridge. The piece also features a new generation TAG Heuer case, made from steel for greater shock resistance. The construction has progressed from the traditionally used single piece to a modular with twelve different components, allowing for an infinite combination of materials, colors, treatments and finishes. The look is finished with a black perforated rubber strap. 

Courtesy of Tag Heuer
Mr. Biver and Brady were joined by actress Molly Sims, who served as the MC for the night, as well as DJ Eve, whose original set further added to the party atmosphere. Guests had the pleasure of watching Brady throw signed footballs to raise money for Best Buddies, a charitable organization that offers the opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to develop social, leadership and employment skills for greater participation in the community. Several guests were lucky enough to catch the signed footballs that Brady threw into the crowd and took home a special souvenir from the night.

Courtesy of Tag Heuer

Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Group Watch Division and CEO of TAG Heuer, stated: “We are thrilled to have Tom Brady as a representative of TAG Heuer and are looking forward to taking part in the beloved tradition of American football. Tom embodies the principals of perseverance, strength, and illustrates an unwavering commitment to excellence in the face of pressure. He personifies the #Don’tCrackUnderPressure mindset.”

Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, declared: "I am thrilled to be part of the TAG ambassador team. I have always admired the craftsmanship of a luxury timepiece and the new Carerra 1 is no exception. The first nice watch I purchased was a TAG. So, it looks like I've now come full circle with this admired company".

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