Monday, January 11, 2016

The Importance of Knowing when a Gag has Outlived its Humor

My father used to have a saying - if you don't want someone to get your goat, don't leave it in the front yard.

Courtesy of H. Moser & Cie.
This is the latest salvo from H. Moser & Cie.

You might recall that they started with a clever campaign extolling the virtues of the mechanical watch vs. the smart a few months back.  It was a cute jab at Apple and the Apple watch.  While the first Youtube video campaign was clever, if I'm honest, with this latest offering I think the "strategy think tank" at Moser has run off the rails a bit.

With a case intentionally designed to match the Apple watch and an "apple green" underbelly for the strap, this is about as subtle, clever and cunning as a baseball bat to the forehead.  Moreover, I have to be honest that it is at this point a little sad.

To craft, create and now market a watch with (seemingly) the sole goal of trying to stick your thumb in the eye of a company that can buy yours about 100 times over is not Quixotic.  It is not David and Goliath.  It is wasteful, a bit vainglorious.

Here's the thing - the strategy that H. Moser & Cie. had been following was a good one.  Beautiful, hand made watches that are not about a label or a logo like Patek, Rolex or Vacheron.  And by all accounts they were gaining respect and (positive) notoriety.

When you invest so much time and money talking about someone else, you end up doing a lot of unpaid PR work on their behalf.  In fairness, for all I know this watch is going to sell like hotcakes.  But my gut is telling me that it is a somewhat expensive practical joke played on Apple that Apple probably finds flattering ; )

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