Wouldn't it be cool to put on an old leather jacket that's been worn, torn and sweat-baptized by your favorite rock 'n' roll god? Well, assuming you can afford it, you'll soon have your chance—or at least your wrist will.
One of the classic moments from the James Bond films takes place in the first few minutes of 1964's Goldfinger. Having wiggled out of his wet suit, Sean Connery steps into a smoky Latin nightclub where he flicks his cigarette lighter to check the time on his wristwatch.
Watchmaker Nixon, looking to raise its profile beyond core customers, is hiring its first agencies for creating and placing ads.
While it might seem like the makers and sellers of wristwatches have a comparatively easy time marketing their wares, it’s actually tougher than it looks. The big problem is that watches are, physically, not big.
If there’s a branding equivalent of reaching nirvana, Rolex has done it. The 108-year-old brand is so famous, so coveted, it’s virtually synonymous with the luxury watch category, if not success itself.
"Hey, potential customer, you're gonna DIE! Wanna buy a wristwatch?" That's basically the message of this "Days to Live" campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky promoting Diesel's Timeframes line. Answering a bunch of questions at the "Days to Live" website—some jokey (Did you emerge from your mom's womb laughing or crying?), some not (Do you drink? Do you take drugs? Do you drive?)—supposedly yields the number of days you have left to live. My number: 12,508 (a little over 34 years). Phew. I'll last long enough to see Lance Armstrong tell Oprah that he drank human blood to win bicycle races.
In the long history of celebrity endorsements (Mark Twain, let us remember, was plugging Great Mark Cigars as early as 1875), brands have learned that while a famous face is the key requirement, a close second is relevance: a credible, believable connection between the endorser and the endorsed. Perhaps nowhere is that linkage more important, or obvious, than in the Macho Man genre.
One of the lesser known dogfights of the branding world happens to belong to one of its most refined sectors: luxury wristwatches. And the brinkmanship is not about what you'd think. Sure, precious metal cases, jewel encrusting, features like moon-phase calendars--all are nice.
Celebrity descendants are standard fare in the fashion world, with the assumption being that they're spoiled brats coasting on the family name. Not so with Marlon Brando's grandson, Tuki Brando, who appears in a swank new print ad for watch brand TechnoMarine and has previously done modeling work for Versace. The 20-year-old medical student has had a dark and often traumatic family life, according to a brief profile in the Telegraph. His father, a boyfriend of Marlon's daughter Cheyenne, was shot dead by Tuki's uncle, Christian Brando, before the boy was even born. According to some accounts, the shooting was the result of possibly false claims by Cheyenne that her boyfriend, Dag Drollet, was abusive. A few years later, after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and losing custody of her son, Cheyenne hanged herself in Tahiti. Tuki was 4. Nine years later, when Marlon Brando died, the Hollywood superstar added insult to a life of injury by leaving Tuki out of his will. So, it's hard to dismiss Tuki Brando as a child of privilege. He could more accurately be considered a survivor. In its coverage of his mother's death in 1995, People magazine noted: "There are dysfunctional families, there are the hard cases who hurl insults at each other on daytime talk shows, and then there are the Brandos, a true house of pain." Full ad after the jump.