SEIKO launches a new global campaign to tell the SEIKO Story
SEIKO. Dedicated to perfection
On August 1, 2009, SEIKO Watch Corporation launched a new communication campaign for the SEIKO brand. Centered around the new SEIKO Ananta Collection, this new campaign tells the story of SEIKO and of the company’s expertise in every aspect of the watchmaker’s art. It presents Ananta and four other Elite collections as testimony to SEIKO’s dedication to perfection.
The campaign will appear in traditional and digital media in all the world’s markets and will be reflected also in all SEIKO’s retail partners’ presentations of the brand. It is a major new development for the company as it positions SEIKO in a new, more up-scale way, reflecting the company’s new focus on the accessible luxury watch market. The aim of the campaign is to convey to watch lovers all across the globe the true nature of SEIKO as a “manufacture” of prestige watches. In every respect, the campaign, and its star collection, Ananta, mark the opening of a new chapter in the 128-year history of SEIKO.
The SEIKO Story
SEIKO’s story is one of the better-kept secrets of the watch industry! Quite correctly, many people may think of SEIKO as the company which first marketed the quartz watch, but even among these SEIKO fans, few are aware that the company also has a distinguished record of innovation and refinement in mechanical watches, starting as far back as 1895. Furthermore, SEIKO’s pre-eminence in the medium-price arena has partially obscured SEIKO’s expertise in making high grade mechanical and Spring Drive watches, which industry insiders know to be the match of any in the world. The new campaign seeks to present these aspects of SEIKO and to reveal the company and its very best products in their true, market-leading, light.
The creation of the campaign
The new campaign was the result of a two-year, research-based project which involved SEIKO’s teams not only in Japan, but also in the USA and Europe. Two major research projects were undertaken in 5 European markets and in the USA to probe in depth into the ever-changing desires and motivations of watch connoisseurs and buyers. These studies revealed an increasing interest in the real, tangible manufacturing values of watches. While consumers remain intrigued by the soft values of brand image and by the celebrities that endorse many of the leading brands in this market, the research revealed a return to consumer interest in real values. It was clear that precise information, presented in a serious but still intriguing manner, was the way to tell the SEIKO story and to engage with the watch buyers of today. The moment is propitious. In the current economic environment, consumers seek real, tangible and intrinsic values in every purchase, but most particularly, in purchases in the accessible luxury category, and it is exactly in this area of manufacturing integrity and product excellence that the uniqueness of SEIKO resides.
The creation of the campaign was entrusted to Les Ouvriers du Paradis, a Paris-based agency specializing in the luxury brand arena. With expertise garnered in the clothing, fragrance and retail sectors of the luxury market, Les Ouvriers du Paradis immersed themselves in the SEIKO world, visiting SEIKO’s Shizuku-ishi and Shinshu watch studios located in the north and center of Japan respectively, and also holding extensive consultations with experts from all areas of the industry, from SEIKO’s designers to leading watch journalists to staff in SEIKO’s boutiques.
The “Dedicated to Perfection” campaign was created as a result of this 6 month period of co-operation.
The campaign elements
At each and every touch point with the SEIKO brand, the consumer will find four elements consisting of the theme, the supporting text, a watch and a background visual that convey the brand atmosphere.
The theme ‘Dedicated to Perfection’ expresses what drives SEIKO people to create some of the very best watches in the world. For example, it took 28 years to develop the Spring Drive movement, and the R&D was done with no certainty of commercial viability. It was created solely because of one engineer’s commitment to an idea and its fulfillment. The theme expresses what has always driven SEIKO forward.
The headline and supporting text tells the story behind the watch and its creation. They shed a shaft of light into the SEIKO world, highlighting not only what each watch offers, but also what sets it apart from others.
The watch, whether drawn from the Ananta, Sportura, Velatura, Premier or Arctura collections, is presented alone as the centerpiece of the communication, and it is photographed in a way that reveals both its purpose and distinctiveness.
In every advertisement, the visual background is a landscape that suggests both the grandeur of nature and the longevity of the values of the brand. The watch sits directly in a natural setting that stretches far away towards the horizon. With the subdued colors and epic scale of the landscape, the images have an almost mythic quality, but, at the same time, still speak of the real values of the watch. Thus, in the Ananta Spring Drive advertisement, a shallow river runs silently and smoothly towards the reader, symbolizing the continuous flow of time which the Spring Drive watch reflects in its glide motion hands.
The photography was made by the celebrated Belgian photographer, Rene Clohse (ttp://www.reneclohse.be) whose love for the grandeur of nature and whose ability to communicate its beauty made him the perfect choice to create the SEIKO campaign. The shots were taken in Tenerife, Northern France and Sweden in December 2008 and January 2009.
Shu Yoshino, the General Manager of SEIKO Watch Corporation’s Public Relations and Advertising department, said of the new campaign, “We think of this new campaign for SEIKO as an important new invitation to watch connoisseurs to look afresh at SEIKO. It tells the SEIKO Story in a new way that watch lovers will like, with fact, not fiction. In the past few years, we have changed our collection very considerably, and we think that consumers will be surprised to see the extraordinary new Ananta collection. This campaign is its new showcase.”
Herve Chadenat, President of Les Ouvriers du Paradis, commented, “When I saw the Ananta collection and when I learned the inside story of how SEIKO creates its timepieces, I realized that SEIKO was a very special company. The more we learned, the more our task became simple because the story of SEIKO is so compelling. ‘Dedicated to perfection’ is not an advertising idea. It is the reality.”
Complete media integration
In the design of the campaign, considerable attention was paid to ensuring that it would deliver the SEIKO Story successfully in every situation where the consumer sees SEIKO. In the many thousands of retail stores in which the brand is showcased, the new window display system will incorporate the campaign visuals. The campaign will also be an integral part of the “SEIKO Image Store” environment; in about 400 stores around the world, these large and impressive retail installations act as an invitation to the SEIKO world and the SEIKO Story, with its technologies, history and culture; it is presented in a luxurious environment that is customized to every store.
The new campaign is also fully integrated into SEIKO’s presence in digital media. Over 70% of watch buyers use the Internet at some stage of their journey to purchase. The new SEIKO campaign is, therefore, equally at home in all SEIKO’s websites as in traditional environments. Visitors to the new global website will find the SEIKO story told in a variety of ways, from short cameos about various landmarks in the company’s history to a detailed explanation of how SEIKO’s watch calibers function. Furthermore, advertising on third party Internet sites will play a more and more important part in the presentation of SEIKO, and special materials have been produced for this task.