Back in the early-1900s, department store owner, John Wanamaker said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The statement still seems pretty valid today. Everyone knows that companies have to advertise to get their message across, but despite the emphasis companies place on advertising, it’s still an inexact science.
Certainly, the world has changed quite a bit since Wanamaker’s day. It’s interesting to see how watch advertising, which was wordy and very “story oriented” has evolved into “product as hero” and “image” concept ads. Most watch companies have settled on trying to find an image or a concept that will make us sit up and pay attention, not an easy feat when experts suggest we are exposed to, on average, more than 5,000 marketing messages a day.
It wasn’t always like this, however. Take a look at the vintage Hamilton ads, which are more like short stories than ads. Rolex was the same way – taking up a complete page of text to explain the concept of the Oyster case.
Certainly, companies advertise to raise awareness and, ultimately, to sell watches.
“Consumers today are always busy, but also constantly hit by many solicitations,” says Carla Liuni, Vice President of Global Marketing and Communication at Bulgari. “The single and final objective of any advertising is to create an impact by generating emotion and desirability towards the brand and product. Therefore, a good ad should be eye-catching in terms of messages and graphic execution. The role of the claim is central here since it captures the viewer’s attention, thus is able to tell a story in which the consumer can both identify himself and dream. In other words, advertising should generate an interaction between the brand and the target consumer to engage the product.”