Watch Companies Use Communication Technology to Get Their Message Out

During the early days of watch production, watch makers relied almost entirely on their reputation. By offering the timeless qualities of craftsmanship, durability and good value for the money, many watch makers were propelled forward. Those watch makers who tried to profit by cutting corners and offering shoddy goods saw their reputations and their bank accounts suffer as a result.

One might say that the early watch business was driven customer by customer, sale by sale and watch by watch. Marketing to professionals such as scientists, pilots and other figures of authority helps to create an aura of credibility.

In the mid eighteen hundreds new methods of mass communication were sweeping across the business world. Europe and North America were two of the world major markets and trade between the two regions was bustling. Books, which had long been available to the elite classes, were becoming ubiquitous as the number of public libraries grew. Newspaper circulation was soaring, as more people became literate, learning to read and write.

During this important era in the development of communication systems, Samuel Morse introduced the telegraph, which allowed news and other information to travel great distances in near real time. The distance was greatly increased by the laying of the transatlantic telegraph cable, which connected North America and Europe.

By the eighteen sixties, everything was in place for a major revolution in how sellers communicated with buyers. As newspaper and magazine circulation grew, merchants and publishers saw the enormous potential in print advertising. This growth potential was not lost on watch manufacturers.

This potential expanded yet again with the introduction of the radio and the Bulova Watch Company was quick to jump on the technology bandwagon with a series of brilliant public relations moves. This strategy helped to rewrite the book on promotion and marketing strategies that included being a pioneering force in the use of radio strap

Another stunning promotional success initiated by Bulova included sponsoring the trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh which captured the attention of people on both sides of the Atlantic aided by the telegraph and radio. These initiatives were made possible only by the development of mass communication technologies.

More than any other communication technology, television by far has had the greatest impact on how producers get their message to consumers. The advertising slogan it takes a licking and keeps on ticking has helped make the Timex brand world famous as a producer of reliable and stylish watches that are also very affordable. Made popular during the nineteen fifties and early nineteen sixties by television personality John Cameron Swayze, the innovative campaign took full advantage of television. Television was unsurpassed as an advertising medium that added impetus to the power of the demonstration.

Viewers were treated to a host of different scenarios, which tested the capabilities of the Timex during what was often billed as a torture test. The watches were strapped onto the blades of outboard boat motors, dropped into the water from heights as far as sixteen hundred feet and shown on camera to still be running. The company even strapped their watches to the backs of sea turtles and cliff divers in Mexico to prove how rugged these timepieces could be.

The Olympic Games and other major sporting events like World Cup Soccer have always drawn worldwide media attention and timepiece manufacturers have competed for the right to have their timing systems used to time various sporting events. Watch companies like Longines and Bulova have had long relationships with the Olympic Games and are examples of using the highly successful marketing strategy of product placement.



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