Brands hire celebrities to bring attention to their products and increase sales. There’s really no mystery about the alliances. Watch brands frequently ask high profile people to don their wares. In exchange for wearing their timepieces in public and at brand-sponsored events, these ambassadors, as they’re called, receive remuneration.
All levels of brands get in on the game, from Audemars Piguet and Piaget to Tag Heuer and Baume and Mercier. In exchange for giving their star power to the brands, these individuals get paid big bucks. Some examples that immediately come to mind are John Travolta for Breitling, Maria Sharapova for Tag Heuer, Roger Federer for Rolex, Nicole Kidman and George Clooney for Omega, and golfers Lee Weswood and Cristie Kerr for Audemars Piguet. There are obviously loads of other examples of screen and sport representing the brands.
The brands take these sponsorships very seriously. Charlize Theron got the boot from Raymond Weil and hit with lawsuit for breach of contract when she was spotted wearing another brand publicly.
While many of celebs pocket the coin, others use their fees to fund their pet charity projects. For example, Leonardo Di Caprio does print ads for TAG Heuer wearing the Carrera Day-Date and donates all the proceeds for his services to TheNatural Resources Defense Council. Recently Andy Garcia joined with Baume & Mercier for their Baume & Mercier and Me campaign. For a full year Garcia will model for the brand and they in turn will give his royalties to charities of his choice, which include organizations that support cancer research, child education and underprivileged women. Audemars Piguet created a special edition of their Millenary watch with Quincy Jones to bolster the coffers of Project Q, aimed at inspiring children to their full potential.
It’s also important to note that brands such as Patek Philippe, Lange & Sohne and Vacheron Constantin eschew aligning with people in the public eye for their ad campaigns. It’s always a risk joining your name with a public figure, especially when that public figure falls from grace. To wit: Tiger Woods.
Certain star sponsorships seem motivated only by the persuasive power of a big check. The personal and/or public image doesn’t really match the watch brand. In other words, without compensation, I don’t believe the person would personally choose to wear that watch.
There’s no doubt star power brings recognition to a brand, but does it really sway your decision in buying a watch?