December 2, 2010
Swiss watchmaker Hublot is aiming to keep up with mobile marketing through the launch of an iPhone application that leverages the innovative usage of augmented reality and 360-degree views of its products.
The application allows consumers to view the Hublot collection, design their own models and digitally trying them on. The application can be downloaded for free in Apple's App Store.
“It is in the DNA of our brand to be active and present on every modern and innovative media,” said Olivier Bourqui, head of web activities at Hublot, Nyon, Switzerland.
Trying on the application
Hublot stated that its ability to evoke emotion in its audience is one of the traits that differentiate the brand from competitors. The application is a platform for it to connect with its consumers.
"The emotional and innovative combination of a product like the iPhone is a great support to express it,'" Mr. Bouqui said.
The main screen lists a menu the user can scroll through where they can find Hublot news, its TV podcast, the 2010 collection, the 360-degree experience feature and King Power Scan.
Home screen of the application
The “360-Degree Tour” allows the consumer to explore some of the brand’s most popular models. The user can change the watch's features and look at the model in its entirety.
The “Compose your Hublot” section enables consumers to look at the 2010 collection and picks which watch is best suited for them.
Consumers can choose options to personalize a watch
The consumer can choose from different categories including metals, dial, bezel, movement, case, strap style, strap material and size of watch.
The consumer can also use the augmented reality feature when they choose “Try It” in this section. After users take a picture of their wrist, the application will scale down a model so that the user can see how it looks like as if they were trying it on.
The top of the home screen has a click-through graphic that advertises an online contest and a chance to win two MVP tickets to Manchester United soccer game.
Hublot has been the official timekeeper of British soccer club Manchester United since 2008. There is even a Manchester watch that is available for purchase.
The Hublot Manchester United watch
The two brands recently held a “Kick-off” tournament in July where soccer players tried to hit a target shaped as a Hublot watch in an attempt to give $1 million to Unicef.
None of the players hit the target, but Humblot still donated over $100,000 to the cause.
Hublot is using the iPhone as an instrument for self-promotion through its feature Hublot News and Hublot TV podcasts found on the application.
"IPhone users – much more than feature phone users – likely fit the profile of a Hublot buy," said Ryan Peterson, manager of Business Development and Marketing at Ubermind, Seattle. "It's not a stretch to imagine that someone who pays a premium and monthly service would also have interest in a premium timepiece such as a Hublot."
Mr. Peterson also stated that augmented reality is what sets Hublot apart from its competitors because they have the feature for a specific and realistic purpose, not just for the sake of having it.
Augmented reality is a much hyped about feature in the smartphone technology space. Girard-Perregaux's new iPhone application also has an integrated feature that allows consumers to digitally wear watches before buying them (see story) .
"We have several targeted events on the application itself that help us spread the word, but as in our products we will unveil
very surprising and [innovative] ways of communicating about us on this kind of device," Mr. Bourqui said.
Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, discusses the brand's ambitions for innovation in its 2010 collection