"You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation. - Begin your own tradition."
Now, this is obviously belongs into the planners' Hall of Fame. At least 3 great insights can be detected here in retrospective:
1) Buying a watch for $70.000 can make you feel guilty, thus needs to be justified.
2) Really good watches have a really long life - longer than your's is.
3) Most millionaires are self made men. But they long for some sort of dynastic touch to their family.
Apart from the execution style this is really great work. If I would have done this one I wouldn't question my capabilities ever again. Well, I haven't. Next time maybe.
You see, we are not talking about a bag for $3000,-. These products cost up to $300.000. They really are luxury. They are so luxury that they even wouldn't use the word luxury because this sounds cheap. These brands (Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, etc.) have an average price at least 3 times higher than a Rolex. Can you raise their perceived value through adding a psychological twist to it? Does the twist itself (the ad idea) have an impact on their propensity to want or buy the watch?
Maybe you think "Yes, where's the problem". Well, the problem is: the strategy techniques used are absolutely borrowed from premium-price or even mid-price products like let's say a Nissan:
1) There is a positioning thinking behind this ads: "Patek Philippe. The Inheritance."
2) There is an appellative lifestyle claim that tells you what to do: "Begin your own tradition"
3) There are models depicting "You" as the brand thinks you are
4) In some of the executions there is even an attempt to trigger your love for children visually (= "to emotionalize the brand")
This is almost perfect - say- for a Nissan. Or Nike. But this is exactly the point: don't people who pay 80,000,- for a watch simply feel that this is "just advertising" - or even mass advertising? And can you sell absolute exclusivity with a mass advertising appeal? What does this tell them about the brand? That they "need" advertising, an "advertising trick"?
Just in case you think I'm advocating some sort of "new, 1on1, digital whatever conversations" as opposed to mass advertising principles - not at all! At this prices, conversations are face-to-face and carried out by professional jewelers in suits we could probably never afford. There is enough conversation going on about Patek. Online as well. The difference being: those who blog and talk about watches don't have the money to buy them - at least not 1st hand from Patek. And besides: the whole conversational, digital etc. marketing is even more typical for mass-market brands.
Let's rather stress some strategy concerns rather than channels & mechanisms.
Is the notion of "positioning" or "proposition" applicable here?
Should a brand like Patek talk to "you" and "your life" overtly?
Should Patek "emotionalize"?
Can or should Patek "add" anything to what they already are?
I guess the problem is that enhancing product perceptions through an emotional proposition or some sort of life style promise to some degree implies that there is room for improvement. If it really is the absolute high END of luxury and quality - why do they advertise? Isn't an emotional promise rather there for brands that need to promise something more than the product delivers? Coca-Cola needs an emotional promise because it's caffeine water and sugar. How can the most perfect mechanical jewelry need an "added value"?
I don't know if my concerns are justified. What do you think?