December 17, 2020
Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen has animated its legendary watchmaker in an immersive 360-degree holiday campaign reaching both in-store and online shoppers.
The campaign “Finding Mr. Klaus” blends traditional marketing strategies like in-store activations with digital immersive engagement. With animated paid media assets, a social media hunt for celebrities and an animated Kurt Klaus on the website, IWC guides customers through a unique illustrated and festive experience designed by artist Filippo Morini.
“Especially during times when different countries are following different restrictions, people are shopping from home more than ever,” said Caroline Spoerry, project manager of brand communication for IWC Schaffhausen, Zurich. “We really aimed to have an omnichannel approach that provides a great experience no matter where the customer interacts with the brand.”
IWC and Mr. Morini have taken a cheerful approach to the holiday campaign by illustrating and animating world famous watchmaker Kurt Klaus known for inventing the autonomous IWC perpetual calendar mechanism. Mr. Klaus worked under legendary watchmaker Albert Pellaton before developing the technical module that would ultimately set IWC apart in the industry.
The campaign is broken up into several interconnected user journeys including in-store, online, social and paid media.
The physical journey begins at the boutique window where visitors may view illustrations localized to specific cities such as New York or Paris. Customers can scan a QR code on the window leading to the landing page for the campaign.
Upon entering the IWC website, the homepage shows a similar illustrated holiday scene as displayed on the storefronts. After one second, an illustrated Kurt Klaus jogs across the screen, inviting the user to follow.
By clicking on the animated character, the user is redirected to a new page where they may begin shopping the collection.
On social, the brand has been continually posting new images every two days, encouraging users to spot various IWC personalities like professional American football player Tom Brady. The activation is further supported with engaging filters and local Instagram Stories from boutiques around the world.
Lastly, paid media on Facebook shows the illustrated Kurt Klaus running past a multitude of carousel assets.
The advertisement prompts the user to swipe left to discover where Mr. Klaus is going, ultimately showcasing different watch styles. The last post reveals Mr. Klaus hiding behind a watch.
Through every channel, IWC aims to guide the user to the same landing page where they will ultimately find the missing character and discover an interactive video localized for 11 countries featuring the real life Kurt Klaus.
Technological innovation in the luxury watch sector has ramped up in recent years.
Brands such as Breitling and Vacheron Constantin announced they were using blockchain as a way of digital verification. Also, Watches & Wonders announced that it would hold its annual watch fair online as a result of the cancellation of its physical event and is now planning another digital version for April next year.
Bulgari and Zenith have utilized Zoom calls, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging to sell directly to clients.
At a time when online is growing, and uncertainty around store openings and closures lingers over the luxury market due to the global restrictions that are still in place, brands would do well to adjust their marketing strategies to navigate the new rules of luxury purchasing, and explore meeting their consumers on whichever channels they choose to interact on – a key component to a seamless omnichannel experience (see story).
According to research by Bain & Company and the Fondazione Altagamma, online is set to become the leading channel for luxury purchases by 2025, fueling the omnichannel transformation. Brands will need to adjust their footprints to the new digital map of luxury purchasing, evolve the role of bricks-and-mortar stores and their ergonomics and maximize the customer experience, according to the report (see story).