Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Greeting Card Holidays and Unrealistic Expectations

I used to sell watches. I also used to write the copy used by other people to help them sell their watches. And I was not above weaponizing FOMO to sell watches. I remember getting the sales memos from Tag, Baume, Cartier and others pleading with us to push watches priced $1,800 and up for Valentine's, Mother's, Father's and every other Hallmark Greeting Card holiday out there - both real or imagined. I once, only half joking as the sword of corporate retribution was dangling over my neck, penned this tagline for a diamond-encrusted piece:
"She carried you for nine months"
And for the man who brought you into this world, and can take you back out?
"He gave you life, consider this a meager thank you".

And as we are rapidly approaching "Dads and Grads" season, the Tempus Fugit inbox is full-to- bursting with watches priced around the price point of an entry level Toyota and the request that I include Watch X in my Mother's Day Gift Guide. This of course would mean I would have to bump my advertorials for Kay Jewelers and 1-800 Flowers! In other words, it's clear that the guys and gals in these PR agencies have not read Tempus Fugit before reaching out to for a Mother's Day favor.

Now curious to relate, if you were to visit the TAG Heuer or Hublot booth at any watch fair, you will see my picture carefully hidden at the reception desk with the instructions:
"Under no circumstances should you let this guy in, even if he has an appointment!"
Well, now that Mr. Biver has a less active role, you never know, I might get to see the inside of the booths once more ; )

And even more curious to relate? I have been watching Mr. Biver's interviews from a year or two ago and the one thing he keeps coming back to is gifting watches. What I loved about his comments about this were that these were carefully thought out purchases, with real intention and consideration for the person he was giving the watches to. Also important to note - these were significant event/holidays like birthdays and anniversaries. 

In other words, this was not a knee-jerk reaction to some feverish pitch to BUY, SPEND MONEY!

So, being the contrarian that I am, I would like to encourage something, well, contrary to the marketing brain trust of Watch Town -

Buy watches as gifts! But not just any gift or just any holiday, because then it ceases to be special. Buy a great watch for a graduation gift! Buy your dad a watch you know he would love but would never get for himself. Buy your partner a watch when they get that big promotion. These are all great reasons to head down to your independent retailer and buy something special. And hey - why not engrave it? And one other thing? A great watch does not necessarily mean expensive. It means that you thought about what the person RECEIVING the watch would like, not just what the PR agency told you to get them. Whether it be a Swatch or a Rolex, make it significant, and make it special. If you just feel the need to give something because the greeting card companies are telling you need to give something? Well, then give your Mother, Father, partner something else that is special - give them your time.

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