B&H Brings Bulova Back

Burkhardt & Hillman this week will break the first TV spots in 10 years for venerable watchmaker Bulova. The three commercials are the New York agency’s first work for the client since winning the estimated $10 million account in July.
Targeting holiday shoppers, the spots tout the brand’s history. “Radio Time” tells consumers that Bulova was responsible for the first commercial in a 1926 radio broadcast. Footage shows families gathered around the wireless in the days before television. A voiceover says, “At the tone, it’s Bulova watch time Even today, Bulova keeps a nation on schedule.”
Another highlights Bulova’s connection to the U.S. space program. As shots of the mission to the moon segue into those of a woman giving birth, the voiceover says, “We were there for America’s first journey out of this world and today we’re often there when someone new enters it.”
A third spot plays off Bulova’s role in World War II as the soldiers’ watch of choice. The tagline on all the ads is: “America still runs on Bulova time.”
The most recent work for the Woodside, N.Y., client was a 1996 print ad project from Kirschner Caroff Design, New York, tagged, “Quality and value since 1875.”
Bulova has a history as “America’s wristwatch,” but rivals such as Seiko and Citizen had undercut the brand and launched better-looking models, said agency principal Patrick Hillman. “In the last 15 years they’d taken their eye off the ball, I suppose,” he said. Media chores are done in-house.