July 24, 2012
To leverage its 25-time sponsorship of the Olympics, watchmaker Omega has launched a history- and product-centric iPad application to complement other multichannel efforts surrounding the games.
The Birth of Modern Timekeeping app nods to the Omega-Olympics partnership conception at the London 1948 games through a digital storybook that speaks to the technological innovations sparked through the watchmaker’s sponsorship of the games. It is available for free in Apple’s App Store.
“Obviously, the brand's primary objective is to generate associative momentum in conjunction with a global event that only occurs every four years and relay a bit of the brand's heritage of innovation in the process,” said Scott Forshay, mobile and emerging technologies strategist for Acquity Group, Austin, TX.
“From a pure branding perspective, the association and history with such an important event definitely reinforces the expert technology and craftsmanship that the brand is known for,” he said. “Effective strategies for luxury brand mobile marketing within an app construct should always include a reference to the heritage of the brand and, in this instance, that heritage takes on additional importance with the brand's historical association with the Olympic games.”
Mr. Forshay is not affiliated with Omega, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Omega could not be reached before press deadline.
The Birth of Modern Timekeeping app was released in time to celebrate the 25th year of Omega’s position as Official Timekeeper.
A bulk of the app is centered around the 1948 Olympic games and how Omega technology had helped officials keep precise timing, which drastically affected the way the games were held.
Omega equipment during the London 1948 Olympics
For example, the photo-finish camera was used for the first time during the 100-meter final in London in 1948. This product was developed especially to determine precisely when runners crossed the finish line, according to Omega.
Two athletes from the United States both clocked the same time, but judges were able to check images to see who had really completed the race first based on the results from the photo-finish camera.
After, consumers can read about how Omega technology has advanced to its current state and how it will be used in races in the upcoming Olympics.
New equipment from Omega
There are also spotlights on specific athletes from the 1948 games, the current Olympics Stadium in London and other trivia.
Consumers can also look at the full Omega Olympics collection including the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M chronograph, the Seamaster 1948 Limited-Edition chronograph and the Olympic pocket watch.
Users can use the app to find a bricks-and-mortar location and connect to the Omega mobile site.
Let the games begin
Omega is using mobile to push its role in the Olympics lately. For example, it just released a new app for the Android, the current content of which focuses on the Olympics and the inspired collection (see story).
Furthermore, print and social media have also been used by Omega to build hype for its products and the Olympics.
For example, all of its social media pages are decorated to reflect its Olympics sponsorship.
There are also social videos, especially a television commercial that demonstrates Omega’s status as official timekeeper in the Olympics, set to the soundtrack “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones.
In addition, Omega placed a front-of-book ad in the August issue of Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine featuring the Olympics and the Seamaster Aqua Terra Olympic collection.
Omega print ad
Although Omega is putting much of its marketing efforts in Olympics campaigning, it could have been tied together a little bit better, according to Mr. Forshay.
In addition, mobile could have been that link.
“Successful event-driven apps would normally include functionality designed to enhance the user experience with the event,” Mr. Forshay said. “Rudimentary functions like a schedule of events, weather reports and event check-in would certainly have served to provide additional utility for consumers, but they are noticeably absent from this execution.”
Because of this, consumers may not have any use for the app post-Olympics.
“Too often, brands devise compelling advertising and marketing strategies with an entirely traditional mindset and, as the campaign strategy nears completion, they realize that there is nothing in the way of mobile support built in to the campaign and they panic and rush to market with less than satisfactory efforts,” Mr. Forshay said.
“The ties between mobile, social and experiential marketing are inextricable and the brands that fail to understand this basic reality and devise tactical afterthought mobile executions will fail to take advantage of the tremendous engagement opportunities associated with mobile for an audience made up of moving targets, not stationary ones,” he said.
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York