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Cartier is 2012 Luxury Marketer of the Year

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December 31, 2012

Cartier's revamped Web site

Cartier is Luxury Daily’s 2012 Luxury Marketer of the Year for the use of long-term, multichannel campaigns that keep up its mystique in the eyes of truly affluent consumers and lure those who aspire to be part of the brand’s world.

The French jeweler won over first runner’s-up Four Seasons and second runner’s-up Burberry. These top luxury marketers carefully executed each new campaign in 2012 to align with the brand heritage, values and status while incorporating new technologies and communication channels.

“One word sums up Cartier’s marketing across all channels: class,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Luxury Daily, New York. “Every execution from Cartier is resoundingly rich and true to the brand’s values. The implementation is flawless and the effect simply awe-inspiring.

“Cartier is Luxury Daily’s 2012 Luxury Marketer of the Year for no other reason than it gets marketing from top to bottom, from strategy to tactic to creative and execution,” he said. “Each advertising and marketing effort surpasses the other, imbuing the whole Cartier marketing experience with an aura that other luxury brands can only crave.”

The Luxury Marketer of the Year award was decided based on luxury marketing efforts with impeccable strategy, tactics, creative, execution and results. All candidates selected by the Luxury Daily editorial team had to have appeared in Luxury Daily coverage this year. Judging was based purely on merit.

British fashion house Burberry was 2011 Luxury Marketer of the Year, with U.S. brand Ralph Lauren Corp. as first runner’s-up and German automaker BMW as second runner’s up (see story).

Crown jewel
Richemont-owned Cartier exemplified its brand traditions through this year’s efforts, but took a modern marketing approach to avoid neglecting any worthwhile marketing channel.

The jeweler’s distinctive aesthetic – seen both in its product designs and campaign creative – paired with the incorporation of print, mail, television digital, mobile and live event marketing helped to keep the brand front and center of its target audience.

Indeed, Cartier’s devotion to print advertising is unparalleled.

The marketer bought back covers of the most prestigious magazines, from The Economist to Vogue and Vanity Fair, never doubting the ability of the printed page to deliver a powerful brand punch.

Most ads bear the trademark Cartier burgundy color, cuddly panther, product close-up and the red box that signals true luxury to many loyal customers.

Back-cover ad on The Economist, Dec. 22 

However, Cartier did not forget the aspirational consumer. It was not afraid to flaunt its history, traditions and craft through accessible channels to attract newer customers to the fold.

In fact, one of the jeweler’s first branding ventures in 2012 was its TV debut.

Cartier broke an abbreviated version of its “L’Odyssee de Cartier” film in March on primetime networks, likely to serve as an acquisition tool for aspirational consumers.

The three-and-a-half minute film tells Cartier’s history that started out as jeweler to European royalty.

L’Odyssee de Cartier also delves into an imaginary world that is inhabited by its designs including the famed Cartier Panther, Tutti Frutti, the Santos watch and the jewelry of the maharajas (see story).

L’Odyssee de Cartier

The campaign was also spread via Cartier’s Web site, online magazine and social media.

For instance, a special viewing section on the jeweler’s Facebook page showed a snippet from the main L’Odyssée de Cartier Web site that lets users watch the video and access behind-the-scenes footage (see story).

Watch out for Cartier
The jeweler also took a multichannel approach to raise awareness for the release of the new Tank Anglaise watch this year.

Cartier showed the history of its iconic Tank timepieces in a video and Facebook experience that launched June 22.

With a focus on heritage and craft, the jeweler released a 70-second video called “Never Stop Tank” that showcases the Tank watch model alongside the evolution of the arts.

Never Stop Tank

Cartier featured the video in an interactive Facebook application to help users understand the longevity of the model (see story).

Tank Facebook experience

Next, Cartier added traditional marketing to the Tank Anglaise campaign through a personalized catalog.

The catalog illustrated the history of the tank and inspiring factors that helped it evolve throughout history in addition to a full product offering (see story).

Diamond in the rough
Meanwhile, Cartier upped its digital presence this year through a site redesign and advertising.

The jewelry retooled its U.S. Web site to include an enhanced e-boutique, product features, videos and more (see story).

Cartier site 

Also, Cartier was one of the inaugural advertisers on The New York Times China digital publication that launched in June.

The jeweler placed homepages ads to push its Tank collection to affluent Chinese consumers. Clicking on its ad took consumers to the Chinese Cartier Web site (see story).

The New York Times China 

Another tactic that Cartier used this year was event marketing.

The brand invited select consumers to “New York City in the 70s,” an exhibit celebrating the designs of Cartier and Aldo Cipullo. The exhibit was open April 13-May 8 at the Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York (see story).

Cartier rounded out the year with an all-encompassing holiday push that showed its signature panthers in campaign creative.

The campaign, called “Winter Tale,” depicts Cartier’s items as baby panthers explore a winter land littered with gifts ideas.

Winter Tale

Cartier’s ability to maintain its position in the industry while using up-to-date marketing mediums solidified the brand as a force to be reckoned with this year.

First runner’s-up: Four Seasons
Luxury hotel giant Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts did not hold back in its digital marketing efforts this year, outdoing the competition with long-lasting campaigns that flaunted the lifestyle of its guests and incorporated hotel properties around the world.

One campaign enacted this year positioned the brand as an expert on luxury wedding planning.

Four Seasons’ Weddings magazine debuted with a tablet magazine app, a glossy print edition distributed at 86 Four Seasons locations and an online magazine at http://fourseasonsmagazine.com/weddings.

Weddings magazine page 

Additional tactics that are part of the campaign include Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest content, on-property services, on-hand bridal experts and real Four Seasons wedding stories told to consumers.

For example, Four Seasons established bridal Twitter and Pinterest accounts dedicated to sharing expert tips from the hotel’s staff and stories from real Four Seasons brides (see story).

@FSBridal page 

The brand saw more than 24 million impressions for its #LuxBride hashtag as well as more than 12 million total media impressions.

Another multichannel effort was Four Seasons’ “Ignite the Spark” campaign.

The brand targeted couples in its fourth-quarter campaign after the response from an international brand survey indicated that the hotel company’s guests are seeking more adults-only travel.

The brand enticed bookings from affluent couples through adult-oriented packages at many of its properties as well as a social media push on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and its online magazine.

One part of the campaign was the “Countdown to Romance” Facebook app through which couples could create their own vacation countdown and get reminders on their Facebook Timeline that were tailored to the destination and the couple’s interests (see story).

Ignite the Spark app 

Toward the end of the year, Four Seasons tapped affluent consumers’ interest in high-end culinary experiences through a new lifestyle blog that presents brand recipes from its properties and other food-related content.

The new interactive Web site asks users to weigh-in on the content and try cooking recipes from Four Seasons properties worldwide in their homes.

The blog was designed to be a gathering place for food-lovers and a network to connect all on-site restaurants and bars in one online community, per the brand (see story).

Taste blog

Four Seasons transformed the brand into the talk of the town and the Web during 2012 by providing lifestyle content to which current and prospective guests can relate.

Second runner’s-up: Burberry
British fashion giant Burberry is no stranger to the multichannel approach. This year, the label upped its existing efforts that combine digital and physical channels.

The result is an immersive experience for consumers in international markets.

For instance, Burberry began its large-scale event series in Taiwan that ignited a global campaign focused on fashion, weather and the combination of physical and digital channels that redefined the brand experience going forward.

The label’s first fully-immersive event experience called Burberry World Live took place April 26 in Taipei City, Taiwan, to celebrate the opening of its first flagship store in the country.

The event focused on weather, labeling Burberry as a brand that protects consumers from the elements with fashion (see story).

Burberry World Live: Taipei

Burberry also unleashed its most technologically-advanced property this year in the heart of London that is designed to increase customer engagement and in-store sales through a digital and tactile experience that shows off the brand heritage.

The 44,000-square-foot store in Regent Street in London was developed as a physical expression of Burberry.com, fully immersing shoppers in a combined digital and physical experience.

Key features include 100 screens, the tallest indoor retail screen in the world and 500 speakers (see story).

Regent Street store 

In November, Burberry celebrated the opening of its Chicago flagship store with a physically- and digitally-immersive event that showcased weather and city residents.

The Nov. 29 event showcased Burberry’s Art of the Trench images featuring Chicagoans wearing the brand’s iconic trench coats. The images were shown in the store, around the city and across the brand’s social media (see story).

Chicago store 

Burberry’s 2011 efforts comprised print, digital, out of home, mobile and direct mail pieces to form an effective and seamless transition between channels, earning it Luxury Daily’s 2011 Luxury Marketer of the Year.

The fashion house’s breakthrough approach continued during 2012 so that consumers can not just shop for a product, but buy into an ongoing experience.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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Tricia Carr is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at tricia@napean.com.

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