Buy a Watch From Us Before You Shrivel Up and Die, Says Diesel

'Days to Live' calculates how long you've got

"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.

According to the client, the work inspires us to "unleash time's potential and urges people to grab hold of the opportunities that time creates." Diesel never gets too specific about how we're supposed to do that. Perhaps by dressing like the hip, brooding, style-ista time-wasters in the campaign's Anthony Dickenson-directed HTML5 video montage from production house Storythings? The overall "Days to Live" theme makes some sense for promoting watches. Even so, tone can be tricky, especially when dealing with emotionally charged issues like mortality, and here it's a big problem, because the light/dark mix never gels. Uplifting ads about making the most of one's time on the planet, without gallows humor, might have worked better. Or Diesel could've played the concept as a total goof and told people they have 10 second to live, so they'd better have some fun right now!

Instead, we're stranded in an uncomfortable Twilight Zone of seriousness and snark. It's clearly intended as edgy, but seems confusing and odd for odd's sake, when precision and clarity should've been the campaign's watch words.


Client: Diesel, Fossil

Project: "Days to Live"

Agency: Crispin, Porter + Bogusky

Executive Creative Director: Matt Gooden

Creative Director: Henrik Delehag

Art Directors: Martin Jon Adolfsson, Philip Sinclair

Copywriter: Emma Penz

Producers: Rob Steiner, Donny Brown

Planners: Wojtek Szumowski, Ruth Chadwick

Media Agency: Mindshare

Director: Anthony Dickenson

TV Production Company: Pulse

Digital Production Company: Storythings