Advertising for a piece of technology can pose serious challenges. The question of emotional communication, essential in a 30 second clip, becomes a most pursued goal. A watch is, in itself, a tool, a complex mechanism, a gadget. To take it beyond this level, many manufacturers have made use of the “star” connection: famous people, often actors or sportsmen but also leading scientists or even politicians, endorse one make of watches or another, some going so far as to retain the title of ambassador of the respective brand.
One of the most interesting examples is seen in the story of the watchmaker who, in the 1960s, developed a model that was chosen as the only watch to be worn by astronauts involved in the Apollo missions. This most commendable accomplishment, however, was not enough in itself to make the posters and TV commercials forty years later, in 2009, when the company preferred the face and voice of John F. Kennedy in his famous 1962 “we choose to go to the moon” speech. The 40th anniversary of the moon landing thus rekindled the light of admiration in peoples hearts, and the special edition watch from the ads was all the more appreciated.
Watches are, of course, in strong connection with time. Time is precious to all people nowadays, and most of all to those who live their lives in the spotlight, for, besides their professional activity, much time is demanded by public appearances.Therefore, the much respected former no.1 tennis player Andre Agassi was asked to do an ad emphasizing the importance of sharing ones time with those around us. The video focuses on Agassis work at his Foundation, dedicated to helping children learn more and better.
Some ads take celebrities and put them in regular, day-to-day situations, sort of snap-shot style, so as to bring the product even closer to the publics heart. One such campaign presents Leonardo DiCaprio, Maria Sharapova, Tiger Woods and Lewis Hamilton in meditative postures, holding a watch in their hands and speaking of keeping the dream alive even when through a rough patch. Another brand also banks on its ambassadors being depicted in normal situations, and the team of photographers went to each of their cities to capture them as close to real as possible.
A more subtle way in which watches appear at the wrists of silver screen stars is product placement. The greatly appreciated time-travel classic “Back to the Future”s character Doc Browns watch went on to become a collectible due to this special appearance. The James Bond series also makes use of branded watches, changing them every now and then.