June 14, 2013
IWC Schaffhausen is appealing to its consumers’ preference for tradition and detail with a mobile advertisement on The New York Times iPhone application that heralds its partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
The ad’s absence of mobile optimization may reduce traffic but the bundled message will still give consumers an understanding of how the Swiss watchmaker developed its techniques. Interspersed with multimedia, the ad is meant to convey excellence while acknowledging its mutually influential partnership with Mercedes-AMG.
“The key to running a mobile campaign focused on product exploration is to break down the information and turn it into easily surf-able categories,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.
“IWC could have created a landing page that featured the video prominently on the top and then multiple icons allowing the user to learn more about the watch’s history, functionality, or design," she said.
"This way, the ad viewer could have gone to the functionality directly."
Ms. Lowy is not affiliated with IWC, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
IWC Schaffhausen was unable to respond by press deadline.
From acuity to luxury
IWC describes its journey towards its signature exposed-screw design and technical achievements in the mobile ad.
Lionized at the top of the ad is the new line of watches influenced by the Mercedes-AMG. In addition to this influence, the watches stay true to IWC’s roots.
Two titanium watches are available as a special tribute to the partnership.
The consumer is informed about the company’s providential beginnings and its march towards luxury status.
A highly edited video presents what appears to be a conflation of Mercedes-AMG and IWC. To the backdrop of determined music, a Mercedes AMG Petronas and the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic watch alternate while craftsman work on the behind-the-scenes mechanics.
IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Collection 2013 - Performance Engineering
The message seems to be an exalted view of craftsmanship.
The mechanical features of the watches such as the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon are paid significant attention in the ad.
In conjunction, the consumer learns that materials from high tech-racing cars are used in the construction of Ingenieur watches.
The mix of up-close watch images and the Merecedes-AMG Peronas all throughout the ad underscores the pride the two companies take in their designs.
Consumers are encouraged to contact a concierge for purchasing details.
Luxury partnerships can carry important, jointly-sheltered traits to the surface of a company’s brand image.
Additionally, a partnership can graft these shared traits onto a company’s DNA by acting as a bridge that can always be crossed.
Other watchmakers have enacted similar partnerships.
For example, Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille is sponsoring the British automaker Lotus’ Formula One racing team (see story).
Toyota Corp’s Lexus has united with the USGA to meet its primary consumers at a cherished location (see story).
In the case of IWC and Mercedes-AMG, a deep respect for craftsmanship and innovation emerge as valued traits for IWC and Mercedes-AMG.
However, the mobile ad may not have been the most effective medium to share these values.
"Frankly, consumers aren’t going to read an essay of that length about a watch on their phone - particularly if they have to zoom-in to read the text and keep moving the page from side to side to alternate columns," said Ms. Lowy.
"This ad was elegant and classy," she said. "However, it belonged on a desktop, not a mobile phone."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York