Talk to someone who knows nothing about patek philippe imitation watches and within 60 seconds you’ll no doubt be asked about “that brand” with the “you know … you look after it for the next generation” advertising campaign. Patek Philippe has been using the so-called Generations campaign to sell watches since 1996 without interruption, and the sentimental pairings of sweet family photographs and seemingly timeless watches is still going strong. On the occasion of the campaign’s 20th anniversary, I spoke with a few of the people instrumental in its creation and evolution over the decades, to get the real story behind watchmaking’s most iconic advertisements.
Jasmina Steele, now Patek Philippe Communications Director, joined the company in January of 1996, and one of her first projects was to find a new advertising agency. Patek had been working with the Bozell ad agency for more than a decade, but knew it was time to move on in a new direction. They wanted something that would break with the celebrity-heavy, product-centric marketing that dominated luxury patek philippe 5724r nautilus with diamond bezel & moon phase watch advertising at the time. Think back to the Cindy Crawford Omega campaigns, for example. That wouldn’t be very Patek Philippe, now would it?
Steele headed up a pitch competition from a handful of top European advertising agencies, including London-based Leagas Delaney. Principle Tim Delaney led the agency’s pitch team, and got right into it.
During that research, Delaney learned a number of key things. When shown pictures of celebrities and famous patek philippe chronometro gondolo owners, potential clients had an almost uniformly negative response. “What about me?” they would remark. “Why do I have to look at other people’s stories and borrow the acclaim of others?” Delaney remembers some of them saying. After a group of interviews like this in San Francisco (Leagas Delaney’s research was global, not restricted to Europe), Delaney boarded a flight home to London with the research report in hand, ready to get down to work.
It sounds almost too good to be true, but according to Delaney, the Generations campaign was actually born on that flight from San Francisco to London. If customers didn’t want to participate in the lives of others, he needed to convince them beautifully complicated mechanical patek philippe watches could be personal. “Begin your own tradition,” he wrote. Little did he know the line would stick for more than two decades.
This emotional connection is still going strong too. When asked if the campaign would be stopping or changing anytime soon, both Steele and Delaney were adamant that as long as Generations is still selling watches, and getting new customers interested in replica patek philippe watch, it would be here to stay.
There is a great irony lurking under the surface here, that I can’t leave unmentioned. The little boy from that very first advertisement, way back in 1996, could be having his own child very soon, if not already. The Generations campaign has lasted more than a generation, practicing the very thing that it preaches: longevity, timeless values, and the importance of emotion in commerce.
I won’t be surprised if it lasts another generation or more.