MERCEDES-BENZ SNOW DATE


Souvenez-vous des spots publicitaires diffusés par les constructeurs automobiles premium il n’y a encore pas si longtemps. Ils étaient fait de puissance et de vitesse pour les hommes, de sensualité voire d’érotisme pour les femmes. Autrement dit, un homme ne pouvait affirmer sa masculinité qu’avec une grosse cylindrée capable de franchir montagnes, rivières et villes à vitesse folle, qu’il pleuve, vente ou neige. La voiture devenait ainsi le destrier moderne du chevalier d’antan. Et ce destrier allait vite. Un peu simpliste comme réflexion, non? Et pourtant…

La femme, quant à elle, roulait dans une voiture élégance, raffinée, sexualisée. Elle devait être noire (rappel inconscient à la robe noire qui, pour le coup, n’était pas petite, mais longue) ou rouge, couleur du désir et de l’incandescence des passions. Les courbes de la voiture étaient parfaites: elles devenaient la personification des courbes elles-aussi parfaites de la femme. Le duo était donc parfait, fort, sensuel, capable de toutes les conquêtes, qu’elles soient de bitumes ou de chaire. Simpliste aussi cette réflexion.

Celle-ci mettait en scène au centre le produit, point névralgique de tout l’intérêt, l’homme ou la femme devenait son extension. Autrement dit, un homme ne pouvait être viril sans un véhicule digne de ce nom, tout comme une femme ne pouvait être séduisante sans la voiture personnifiant sa puissance séductrice. Ce discours avait le mérite d’être on ne peut plus simpliste, donc facile à comprendre et retenir, mais ces caricatures étaient-elles pertinentes? Je ne pense pas, d’autant que chaque spot publicitaire était quasi identique à celui de son concurrent. Changer le nom de marque et votre publicité devenait celle d’un modèle d’une autre marque, d’autant que les noms semblaient (semblent?) suivre une homogénéisation déconcertante. Audi fait dans le Q, BMW dans le X et Mercedes cherche le point G. Quand je vous parlais de sexualisation du monde automobile…

Passons cette pointe d’humour et laissons ces lieux communs marketing. Ils ont fait leur temps. Revenons à la période de noël. Elle est toujours synonyme d’intense créativité pour les annonceurs, qu’ils soient mass-market, premium ou luxe. Noël est une histoire, il faut donc raconter une histoire au moment des fêtes. Et elle se doit d’être belle. C’est le principe de ce que je nomme le story telling enchanté. Certains utilisent des lieux communs : le Père Noël amène le produit de la marque tant désiré par l’enfant juste à temps, l’enfant est comblé, l’incident diplomatique évité de peu, tout le monde est heureux, on rigole, packshot produit, halo lumineux un peu embué, flocons de neige au travers de la fenêtre, le tour est joué. Approche simpliste mais efficace puisqu’elle met en scène deux éléments forts que la psychologie humaine : l’envie de croire à l’irréel, autrement dit de rêver, et la joie de l’enfant, donc des parents.

Noël donne aussi l’occasion d’une créativité moins stéréotypée, plus libre. Mercedes-Benz nous en a livré un bel exemple il y a quelques semaines en centrant la communication sur l’enfant tout en faisant passer un message fort sur la fiabilité et la robustesse de ces modèles peu importent les conditions météo. Le story board est assez simple : une tempête de neige, un enfant impatient prêt pour son premier rendez-vous, des parents compréhensifs avec un père héroïque, figure du bon père, soutenant son enfant dans les moments importants de sa vie. La réalisation est parfaite. Il y a de l’émotion et de la tendresse.

C’est la tout l’intérêt de ce spot publicitaire. Les fêtes de fin d’années deviennent le cadre d’une scène quotidienne, transformée en instant magique mais possible (nous sommes donc dans le réel et non l’irréel) par l’amour des parents pour leur enfant. Et la voiture n’est plus grossièrement au centre de la communication (on sort du traditionnel packshot produit, gros plans, etc…), elle est simplement un élément de la vie de tous les jours, un élément sur lequel on peut compter, peu importe les conditions. Pas de vitesse suggérée ici mais un discours sur la qualité teintée d’une intense émotion. Mercedes-Benz signe donc ici une publicité d’une rare qualité, à voir et à revoir.

OMEGA "SPEEDY INSTAGRAM TUESDAY"

SIHH is around the corner and I won’t have time for a long post. However, I want to share with you an interesting article published recently by Luxury Daily, named “Omega leverages Instagram for limited-edition purchase path”.

The fact that social media / networks are used by brands as drive-to-store is not new (store to be understand as brick-and-mortar stores but also AS any form of online distribution) and Instagram is turning more and more into a see / click / buy application. No need to say this is extremely interesting for luxury brands as images (and the values they convey) are a powerful sales booster. Probably the most powerful actually.

If e-commerce or m-commerce are extremely popular in fashion, small leather goods and accessories, they remain marginal distribution channels for traditional watchmakers. But things are moving and they are moving fast. The example of the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” is the perfect demonstration. I won’t analyze the watch nor the process in details but the bottom line is the following: Swiss watchmaker Omega has released a limited-edition of 2’012 pieces of its Speedmaster. The picture was published on Instagram and potential clients can reserve their Watch via Instagram.

What’s new then? Well, Omega used the hashtag created by Fratello Watches founder Robert-Jan Broer. Basically, the brand took a hashtag created by its community and re-used it in its communication and sales process. This is a direct reply to any luxury brand managers still doubting if they should use social networks or not: Stop asking yourselves that question. You are already on them through your fans. The question is rather: How can you embark them into the brand journey?

Now, a question that came to my mind while reading the article on Luxury Daily: Imagine you are a fan of Omega, you share your love for the brand and your active participation leads to numerous sales… Will the brand reward you as a business partner and if yes, how? I guess this question will be more and more important as the influence of social evangelists will grow. And that’s where the grey zone starts…

PIAGET POLO INCEPTION

When several watch fans gather together for a drink or a dinner, it is very likely they end up taking wrist shots, also named watchies. And here is what happens when you start taking a watchie of someone taking a watchie. I guess we can call this wrist shot the "inception watchie". Thanks Henri for the funny photo shoot!

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SIHH IS AROUND THE CORNER, ALTIPLANO 60TH TOO

I didn't publish any post for months but it feels good to be back online, starting 2017 with a great energy. The beginning of the year will be intense. The SIHH is around the corner and the world of watchmaking is already all about Geneva. The watch fair 27th edition will be very special. The market has been extremely challenged in the last couple of years and there is no doubt this will be a main topic for many journalists, retailers or brand employees. Yet, I am confident that the main topic will remain... watches. And beautiful ones hopefully. To be honest with you, I can't wait to present you our new timepieces and celebrate with you Piaget's icon, Altiplano, turning sixty this year.

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Watchfam, see you all in a couple of days to celebrate watchmaking and passion!

Back home!

What? Did I just make it? Did I just publish an article approximately one year and four months since I last publish something here? Yes, I did. And it feels so good! Like being back home after a long journey. I missed writing but don’t worry, I was never far away from watches and jewelry as you can see on my Instagram or LinkedIn profile!

Baselworld 2016 just ended this week. The world of watchmaking changed so much since I started working in the field. Back in 2006, talking about digital was almost an insult. I can’t remember how many times I heard luxury top-managers telling me that « luxury can’t be online. Communication has to be on printed channels ». Nowadays, not being active online is seen as one of the biggest communication and marketing mistakes for a watch and jewelry brand. Yes, time changes and fighting against changes is such a vain strategy. I can only congratulate Zurich-based watch company SevenFriday that masters online communication so well that it turned into one of the coolest and most popular brands on the Internet.

Another major trend is definitely connected watches. 3 years ago, they were considered as a joke by swiss watchmakers. I had tons of discussions with watch professionals who explaining that connected devices and luxury are simply not compatible. I didn’t agree. And I was right. TAG Heuer, Bulgari launched connected watches. Montblanc launched a connected strap. The market is moving fast and what was seen as joke is now seen as an opportunity (soft version) or as a threat (hard version). But one fact remains : connected watches will changes the face of the watchmaking world. And Swiss watchmakers should better be prepared. Because the world will not wait for them.

LOOKS FAMILIAR!

I just spent some time at the Bon Génie boutique in Geneva where I discovered this plastic watch. Cool design, I must say. Very familiar, I would add… Guys, you should run to Bon Génie and get your AP RO look-alike watch before the Manufacture of Le Brassus reacts!

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INSTAGRAM IS WATCHSTRAGRAM

I haven’t been very active on Passionluxe.com lately but that doesn’t mean my passion for marvelous watches is less vivid. Actually, it is pretty much the opposite. My professional time is fully devoted to the development of new watches and my free time is almost totally devoted to shooting pictures of amazing timepieces. And that brings us to the point: amazing pictures need a place to be published and Instagram has become my new home. So join me there!

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All pictures are mine and were published on my instagram account. Want more? Just follow me there : Instagram.com/passion_luxe

MB&F HOROLOGICAL MACHINE N°6



Yesterday was a good day for the watch industry. Wait a bit, it wasn’t good; it was great: MB&F launched its new horological machine: the HM6. I am extremely sad I couldn’t attend to the reveal at MB&F MAD Gallery here in Geneva for many reasons. First of all, I love the place. Honestly, I don’t know how many times my week-end walks in Geneva lead me to the MAD Gallery. There, I always feel like a little child in a candy shop. Then, I love the MB&F team. They are all crazy, leaving in a parallel world made of mechanical extravagance. And it is so welcomed in a city and industry that place tradition above everything else. Then, every new launch is a great occasion to see good friends. And eventually, I have always been extremely pleased by what MB&F presented me, from watches to music machine, mechanical pieces of art to great photo exhibition.

As I said, I was extremely sad I couldn’t attend the reveal yesterday (Thanks again MB&F for the invitation. I will make sure I can come next time). So I looked frenetically on the net looking for the first images before I got caught by the big buzz wave. There are now plenty of images and I highly recommend you the excellent and completely biased review of Watch Anist.



Now, the big question: Do I like the watch? Its design is so unique and so different to what I wear every day. It is so disruptive. I see it like a little earthquake in the conventional watchmaking world. This timepiece is a true spaceship, a watchmaking UFO, a crazy design and probably the ultimate toy for big boy. Will it fit on me? I just don’t know but I can’t wait for the moment this spaceship will land my wrist!

GRAND PRIX D’HORLOGERIE DE GENEVE 2014

Excellence, innovation and watchmaking expertise were duly rewarded on this Friday October 31st in the Grand Théâtre de Genève, on the occasion of the 14th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) prize-giving ceremony. The international jury of this edition 2014 of the GPHG handed out 16 prizes, including the supreme “Aiguille d’Or”, distinction, awarded to Breguet for the Classic Chronométrie model. The Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, who praised the vitality of the Swiss watch industry, officially presented this prize on-stage. Jointly hosted by Mélanie Winiger and Frédéric Beigbeder, the ceremony was attended by around 1,500 guests including influential figures from the world of watchmaking, finance and politics, who congregated in Geneva for this annual celebration of the 12th art.

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2014 PRIZE LIST:

Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix: Breguet, Classique Chronométrie
Ladies’ Watch Prize: Blancpain, Women Off-centred Hour
Ladies’ High-Mech Watch Prize: Christophe Claret, Margot
Men’s Watch Prize: Urban Jürgensen & Sonner, Central Second
Chronograph Watch Prize: De Bethune, DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon
Tourbillon Watch Prize: Grönefeld, Parallax Tourbillon
Calendar Watch Prize: A. Lange & Söhne, Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar "Terraluna"
Striking Watch Prize: Hublot, Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Urwerk, EMC
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Seiko, Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT
Sports Watch Prize: Zenith, El Primero Lightweight
Jewellery Watch Prize: Bulgari, Diva High Jewellery Emeralds
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Voutilainen, Hisui
“Revival” Watch Prize: Omega, Speedmaster "Dark Side Of The Moon"
Innovation Watch Prize: Urwerk, EMC
Special Jury Prize: Walter Lange

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The public, after votes cast on Internet and at the international exhibitions, selected its own favourite which won the Public Prize: Breguet, Classique Dame.

Last days before the SIHH Grand opening!

Le SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) ouvre ses portes lundi à Genève. Il s'agit toujours pour moi d'un évènement particulier et je savoure cette fête tant d'un point de vue personnel au travers de ce blog que professionnel (une visite de mon profil LinkedIn servira à expliquer ce point).


Les derniers jours avant le salon sont donc toujours intenses et passionants entre lecture des derniers communiqués presses et découverte des premières parutions et retombées. C'est donc avec une immense joie que j'ai découvert cet semaine la magnifique Piaget Altiplano 900P (voir photo ci-dessus) en couverture d'un magazine... Il s'agit là de la plus belle récompense pour toutes les personnes ayant travaillé sur ce projet.


Mais le SIHH est une fête qui va bien au-delà du cercle des employés des Manufactures. Genève revêt ses habits de fêtes pendant une semaine et vibre totalement au rythme des garde-temps. A voir et à vivre au moins une fois dans une vie pour chaque passioné de belles mécaniques horlogères....

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