Friday, June 11, 2021

Summer Repeat: Brand Ambassadors - 3 I'd Like To See

So another Olympic year is upon us, and another opportunity for a watch brand to do something bold and dynamic. And maybe I am a hopeless romantic, but I will keep posting about this until some watch brand out there claiming to be "disruptive" or "bold" is ready to put their money where their marketing and advertising mouths are.

So gentle reader, once more, because I can (and will) do this until I don't need to any longer, a summer repeat -

Brand Ambassadors - 3 I'd Like To See

So, it is time once again for the "semi-annual" Tempus Fugit appeal to the PR & Marketing Mavens of Watch Town to take a bold step to recognize 3 athletes who set out to win the Olympic 200 meters in Mexico City, and wound up changing the world. 

So not unlike a pitch meeting, I am going to throw some of Watch Town's favorite bon mots first:

Tag Heuer's
"Don't Crack Under Pressure" 

"Born To Dare"

And throw this picture -

Not feeling that one?  How about this for the big dogs in Biel/Bienne -

Courtesy of the AOC Media Centre
I am sure that someone on the Omega team could come up with a snappy tagline.  Maybe:
"Recording the moments that changed the world."

Watch Town is, indeed, a curious place.  There is almost a desperate longing to be attached to celebrities, star athletes and history makers.  And don't get me wrong, I like sports, movies and astronauts as much as the next guy or gal.  But after everything is said and done - it's just talk.  
Empty and pointless.
Now I know what you might be thinking - "Don't get political, stick to watches". Curious to relate, human rights are not and should not be viewed as political. And honestly? The three men standing on the Olympic podium in Mexico City back on that October night in 1968 weren't calculating how much money they would be pulling in from shoe sponsorships or becoming watch brand ambassadors, or getting a guest appearance on Hawaii Five-0. They were thinking about something bigger than themselves. They were feeling then, like so many of us are feeling now - that the world needed to change.

Peter Norman is no longer with us, but his nephew the film maker Matt Norman is, as are Mr. Smith and Mr. Carlos, still putting themselves out there, giving talks and educating. And maybe I'm just sentimental, but I think it would be nice to see some real heroes as brand ambassadors.

So Omega, Tudor, Tag-Heuer, Breitling or anyone else out there - here are some brand ambassadors that actually stood for, and continue to stand for something positive. Even more than 50 years later.

Watch Town execs still not feeling it?  Okay, maybe a bit of Henki-lore to help push the idea:

Tommie Smith like John Carlos and Peter Norman was pretty much cast out of the world of track and field. He went on to lecture and teach and along the way wound up in Oberlin, Ohio where he (if memory serves) taught sociology and also coached track. I attended Eastwood Elementary with his son Kevin. Truth be told, at the ripe old age of 6 or 7, I had no idea who Tommie Smith was, and certainly less of a clue about the Mexico City Olympics.  We were in the library, and he said 
"I want to show you a picture of my dad."  And he grabbed the most recent copy of the Guiness Book of World Records and turned to the page where his dad's photo and world record were listed.
"My dad's still the fastest man in the world!" At least, that's what I remember him saying.

If you want to know more about the story behind that seismic event in 1968, and learn more about the "third man" - Australian Peter Norman as well as Tommie Smith and John Carlos, I highly recommend the film Salute -

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