New Ads, New Opportunities

December 1998


New Ads, New Opportunities

Pioneering a new brand can carry big risks and big benefits

For many retailers in search of unique timepieces, one key factor is the supplier's local and national consumer advertising support. Many retailers require it. Some don't. Instead, these retailers add brands based on unique design, technical features or price points.

Whatever their reasons for taking on a lightly promoted or unpromoted brand in today's huge sea of watch advertising, these jewelers often form the core of a new brand's distribution. While potentially risky, the venture can turn to gold when consumer ads do start to hit newsstands.

Retailers who sign up early may earn a bonus – being "tagged" on the first consumer ads for the brand. In addition, the retailer secures or enhances a cutting-edge image.

This year, this cycle is playing out with several new brands.

At Village Goldsmith in Glendora, CA, for example, Elaina Ouellette signed up the then-18-month-old Bonneville Watches last winter. This year, the store is tagged on Bonneville's first round of national ads. "New brands and unique looks are more important than name recognition to our customers," says Ouellette.

A cutting-edge image isn't for everyone, however. "You need to know your customers or have the confidence and the patience to educate them about something new," says Ouellette.

"New" is exactly what Jeff Davis had in mind when he began to develop Cross Timepiece's Sonoma line last year. With the line now established, his ads hint at a watch that's out-of-the-ordinary. The company, based in Weehawken, NJ, debuted a $2 million ad campaign for the Sonoma Series this fall with quirky stick figures wearing watches juxtaposed with humorous tag lines. "We want to stand out as not just another watch ad," says Davis, the company's president.

It's an "anti-cool" image to which savvy but style-conscious buyers will relate immediately, he says. The ads can be seen in GQ, Details, The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaarand The New York Times Magazine,among others.

Meanwhile, Delance's U.S. launch this summer set off consumer interest via fashion magazine editorial coverage and in Elleand Harper's Bazaar.

National ads with local jeweler tags convey the brand's "Feminine sensuality," says Steven Kaiser, president of Kaiser Time, the brand's U.S. distributor. by Michael Thompson

– by Michael Thompson

Bonneville's "Dare to be Different" ads feature the brand's automotive-inspired watch design.
Bonneville Watches, Anaheim, CA; (714) 666-1999,








Cross Timepieces uses humor to attract consumers to its Sonoma line. Cross Timepieces, Weehawken, NJ; (201) 271-9189,









Delance's national ads convey the brand's "feminine sensuality."
Kaiser Time, New York, NY; (212) 371-5020,




Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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