Citizen Flies Westward, Chasing an Endless Sunset, in Global Campaign From W+K

Watchmaker races across time

If you fly westward at just the right speed, at just the right latitude, you can witness a perpetual sunset—a ghostly twilight that lingers, hour after hour, as you cross from one time zone to the next. For Citizen Watches, this was an intriguing thought—and soon became a compelling challenge, as the brand decided such a stunt would be a great way to show off its new Eco-Drive Satellite Wave F100 watch, which automatically adjusts to a new time zone in just three seconds.

Soon, Wieden + Kennedy's Amsterdam and Tokyo offices were deep into planning just such a flight. They found a pilot (Jonathan Nicol) to do the flying, and a photographer (Simon Roberts) to take pictures of the never-ending, though ever-evolving sunset. And one day in late February, they took off from Reykjavik in Iceland and headed for the Arctic Circle—documenting the experience for a new global campaign.

The result is the five-minute film below, the centerpiece of the integrated campaign.

They flew at an exact latitude of 80 degrees, where the Earth rotates at 289.95 kilometers per hour. Flying in the opposite direction to the Earth's rotation, they were able to stay in the same moment in time and experience the same sunset over and over again—each time in a new location. (Roberts' sunset photos were used to craft the print and digital ads.)

The tagline: "Better starts now."

"When you have a product as remarkable as this, you need to do something remarkable with it," said Michael Farr, executive creative director at Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo. "We needed something that showed off its ability to flex through time zones but show it in an engaging, honest way. The idea of chasing the sun across time zones was just that—a demonstration that put the watch through its paces while doing something original and entertaining."

For much more on this campaign, check out The Spot in next Monday's issue of Adweek.

Credits below.

Client: Citizen Watch Co.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Executive Creative Directors: Mike Farr, Tota Hasegawa, W+K Tokyo
Art Director: Vasco Vicente, W+K Amsterdam
Copywriters: Evgeny Primachenko, W+K Amsterdam; Takeshi Amata, W+K Tokyo
Head of Broadcast Production: Erik Verheijen, W+K Amsterdam
Broadcast Producers: Tony Stearns, Lars Fabery de Jonge, W+K Amsterdam
Digital Producer: Reiko Kawaguchi, W+K Tokyo
Planners: Danny Feeney, W+K Amsterdam; Kenichiro Muraguchi, W+K Tokyo
Head of Design: Joe Burrin, W+K Amsterdam
Head of Studio: Jackie Barbour, W+K Amsterdam
Studio Designer: Thomas Payne, W+K Amsterdam
Project Manager: Emma Williamson, W+K Amsterdam
Business Affairs:  Michael Graves, W+K Amsterdam
Account Directors: Kensuke Suemasa, W+K Tokyo; Eleanor Thodey, W+K Amsterdam
Account Supervisor: Yoshiko Amano, W+K Tokyo
Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Tristan Patterson
Producer: Hera King
Executive Producer: Chris Barrett
Editing: Whitehouse Post
Editor: James Forbes-Robertson
Postproduction Company: The Ambassadors
Postproducer: Thijs Klaassen
Music, Sound Design, Mix: The Ambassadors
Web Production Company: Grandbase
Director: Shunya Hagiwara
Producer: Yosuke Kurita
Web Designer:  Shinpe Yamamori
Technical Director: Yoshiaki Fujimori
Interactive Designer: Junya Kojima