Non-luxury watch manufacturers are scrambling to grab the attention of younger consumers in an era when the wristwatch is increasingly becoming old-fashioned, according to BusinessWeek
With the glut of wireless phones, MP3 players and other portable devices that come equipped with a clock, the watch industry is formulating solutions to keep its goods relevant.
According to market research firm Packaged Facts, U.S. sales of watches in 2005 totaled $7.6 billion, a 4.9 percent overall decline. The biggest declines were in the $50 and under category.
To entice the coveted, yet fickle 18- to 34-year-old demographic, Seiko Corporation shifted its focus to mid-priced pieces, expanded distribution to specialty boutiques and acquired new design licenses from the estate of Andy Warhol.
Timex is also ramping up its license agreements. Couture designer Gianni Versace and contemporary label Guess both renewed licenses with the sports watch manufacturer.
Meanwhile, Fossil Inc. recently went head to head with cell phones by launching a wristwatch with Bluetooth capabilities, enabling the wearer to view caller ID on the watch’s face (DailyVista article
To ramp up a solution to the cell-phone era, Citizen Watch Company
rolled out a large-scale marketing blitz in 2005, and intends to expand the campaign this year.
Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Citizen ran over 350 ad pages for its “Unstoppable” campaign, which features young sports stars like figure skating champion Sasha Cohen and professional basketball player Emeka Okafor.
The company ran ads in magazines like People, Glamour and Men’s Health, and during sports programming on NBC and Fox.
Citizen credits the campaign with increasing sales between 7 percent and 9 percent each year since its launch, and helped the company take the highest market share in the $50 to $800 range.
According to The List database, Citizen has no announced creative agency relationships, but works with New York-based Optimedia for media buying needs.
According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the company spent about $14.9 million on media in 2005. About $7.5 million was spent on national magazine ads, about $6.9 on network television ads and about $381,300 on spot television.
Approach Citizen with integrated marketing ideas that will capitalize on its “Unstoppable” campaign. Firms with clients that also target young buyers should make introductions to the company for possible cross-promotional work in the future. The company is clearly attempting to present a sporty image, so agencies with sports sponsorship experience should also make a play for business. Event marketing firms with cross-branding expertise should try to tie the sporty campaign with regional sports activities.
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.
1200 Wall Street, West
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Director Advertising & Public Relations
(201) 438-8150 / x. 8268