Feature: The Most SHOCKING Watch PR Moves Ever!
As with any business, luxury watch brands need to get their name out there in the form of advertising and PR campaigns, and there’s certainly a mixed bag of results from over the years. So, did these following campaigns do the trick, or give the brand a bad name? Let’s find out!
“See What People Will Do For A Hublot”
The Hublot model Ecclestone had stolen from him in what was a brutal attack
Hublot created what’s probably the most infamous PR campaign from a watchmaker ever, thanks to a rather unsettling photo. Back in 2010, 80-year-old Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, was brutally mugged and beaten—during which his Hublot King Power F1 watch was stolen. With Ecclestone’s blessing, Hublot ran the pretty disturbing image of his bruised face with the quote, “See what people will do for a Hublot”. Insensitive or genius? One thing’s for sure, it got people talking!
Rolex And Mercedes Gleitze
The newspaper advert that Wilsdorf put in the Daily Mail in 1927
Mercedes Gleitze made history as the first British woman to swim the English Channel in 1927. To help her successfully cross this treacherous sea, Rolex founder Hans Wildorf saw an opportunity and gifted her a Rolex Oyster to wear during the swim. Although Gleitze didn’t wear the Oyster on her successful swim, she did wear it on another attempt in the ice-cold water—proving the watch’s resistance to the elements. Wilsdorf—being the PR whiz he was—ran newspaper ads featuring Gleitze’s story, as well as the line, “The wonder watch that defies the elements”—something that would have peaked interest in Rolex watches, we're sure.
The Breitling Aeroplane Landing
Another aeroplane sponsored by Breitling. Image: shebalso on Flickr
The residents of the Chamonix Mont-Blanc area were not happy with the pilot of this aeroplane that was sponsored by Breitling and smothered in its branding. In June 2019, it landed just 400 metres from the summit of Mont-Blanc—something that’s a serious breach of the environmental code—to allow two mountaineers to continue their ascent of the mountain. The mayor of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Eric Fournier, was particularly offended and filed a complaint, as well as vouched to update the legal and regulatory arsenal to deter people from making such a manoeuvre again—oh dear! We're not sure this move deterred too many people from purchasing Breitling watches though...
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