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Chopard explains etiquette for 21st-century man in whimsical vignettes

January 9, 2017

Watch from Chopard's L.U.C. collection Watch from Chopard's L.U.C. collection


Swiss jeweler Chopard is defining its idea of the perfect gentleman, an equation that combines fashion sense, manners and a touch of humor.

“The Gentleman’s Way” promotes the brand’s L.U.C. timepieces by laying out a list of 11 "golden rules" for the sophisticated modern male, the intended consumer for the watches. Taking a lighthearted approach, Chopard’s films do not take themselves too seriously, incorporating quirky elements.

"These videos communicate that the essence of the L.U.C. timepiece and namesake is timeless and yet relevant to the modern urban professional male, and contextualized through character-building principals/life mottos to go by," said Sebastian Jespersen, co-author of Entangled Marketing and founder/CEO of Vertic, New York. "It is as though the brand itself is associating its own brand values to that of the modern man, and in that, keeping the brand top of mind through brand association for each principal featured."

Mr. Jespersen is not affiliated with Chopard, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Chopard was reached for comment.

Rule book
All of Chopard’s films are underscored by the sounds of a jazzy bass. A nod to timeless machines, the rules explained in each video appear to the sound of a typewriter.

Rather than dialogue, the videos use the actor’s actions to tell a story.

An introductory film shows a man using pastels to spell out the initials L.U.C., a reference to brand founder Louis-Ulysee Chopard who is the namesake of the watch collection.

The first lesson is titled, “It’s the journey, not the destination.” A man is shown spinning a globe and stopping it at random, choosing his travel plans on a whim, and then zipping up a bag and venturing off.

Chopard Gentleman's Way destination

Still from Chopard's Gentleman's Way

“Always keep your word” shows a man dressed in a suit jumping into the water, while “Prepare breakfast in bed” plays off the concept by showing a toaster popping up a piece of bread from its position on a mattress.

Adding a touch of whimsy, some films incorporate animal actors. For instance, “Hold the door open for others” depicts a man allowing a horse to pass, while one film says “There is something to learn from everyone,” backing it up by showing a tuxedo-wearing man taking cues from a penguin.

Another takes on pets, advising men to “Choose not to own a Chihuahua,” presenting a rabbit on a leash as an alternative.

Others tackle struggles in a dapper gentleman’s life. “Never, never, never give up” shows a frustrated man trying to get a tin of shoe polish open. In “Stay positive in a negative situation,” a man appears frazzled by an ink stain on his tie, but then remedies the situation, creating a polka dot patter to camouflage the spot.

The series housed on a YouTube playlist features a range of L.U.C. models, acquainting consumers with the collection amid the content.

Chopard L.U.C Introducing #The GentlemansWay

"Chopard’s strategy is to entangle with its audience by creating rich media 'snackable' content that is relevant, entertaining and appeals to the values and mindset of the modern urban professional male," Mr. Jespersen said. "Through various every-day scenarios and themes that the modern man deals with, the brand associates itself with its audience, portraying class, style and timelessness for the modern male.

"However, Chopard misses the key opportunity to integrate the content across its digital channels, including the Web site, as there is a disconnect between the values being promoted—brand awareness and values—versus the product-focused content/messaging where the content and principals are completely obsolete," he said. "Through insights and data and understanding the customer decision journey, the brand has the opportunity to integrate the content across all digital marketing touch points as to keep the brand top of mind and relevant in the user journey.

"Likewise, Chopard has the opportunity to distribute its content and enable users to share to amplify the brand further and increase followership."

Educational outreach
Luxury brands often take on advisory roles that extend beyond the product, as consumers look to them as arbiters of taste.

Online menswear retailer Mr Porter taught its male following the art of shaving with a new social video that promotes products sold by the ecommerce store.

Part of a new series of tutorial videos, Mr Porter’s “How To: Shave Well” stars Charlie King, a barber at London’s Pankhurst men’s club. Tutorial-style videos engage consumers by showing their potential purchases in use while echoing the overarching Mr Porter lifestyle (see story).

Etiquette is also finding new rules in events and classes targeted at the affluent.

New York’s Fairmont-managed The Plaza Hotel is planning to educate millennials on manners and proper etiquette for the modern age.

For “The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program,” the hotel has partnered with Beaumont Etiquette to create classes on the proper behavior for specific social circumstances. Societal norms and practices have changed vastly since traditional etiquette schools were in fashion, but rejuvenating the concept for modern consumers may bring interested individuals to The Plaza (see story).

"This approach is just the beginning to meet the audience where they are and appealing to their mindset," Mr. Jespersen said. "Chopard needs to continue to create relevant content—and not just noise—in order to meet users where they are in the decision journey, and ability to provide value that transforms users into ambassadors to the brand."