On October 10th 2014, CNN will debut a new television program called “Ones to Watch” that will be fully sponsored by French watch and jewelry maker Cartier. Like most major media, Turner-owned CNN has been experimenting with new ways of deriving revenue with advertiser sponsored content. In fact, sponsoring an entire show and surrounding media is not at all new. Years ago, it used to be that television programs had one major sponsor. Ones To Watch will be a monthly show that focuses on discovering emerging artists and their work around the world.
Richemont Group-owned Cartier is far and away the most important revenue earner of the group, which holds a number of major luxury watch and jewelry brands in its portfolio including IWC, Montblanc, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and more. Cartier has been praised with a more forward-thinking approach when it comes to modern media, as compared to many of its luxury industry colleagues. Cartier has not only embraced online sales of many of its products, but it has also dedicated serious resources to exclusive digital advertising and marketing campaigns. In the luxury industry, it has been proven time and time again that it takes money to make money – so it is interesting to see how Cartier continues to develop it digital marketing and advertising strategies.
Initially, Cartier will focus on its newly released “Shape Your Time” marketing campaign, which has been designed to appeal to men – a demographic Cartier is currently intent on attracting. This is actually rather interesting, as the primary focus of many Richemont Group brands in 2015 will be targeting women. CNN approached Cartier with the sponsorship opportunity, which they felt was right for the brand. Companies like CNN for a while have been complimenting their news-telling content with lifestyle media such as Ones To Watch (which has a dedicated website on CNN here).
While we haven’t seen the new Ones To Watch program yet, it is likely that it will heavily feature Cartier messaging before and during the program. I suspect, on television, there will be other advertisers as well during commercial breaks. According to CNN, the Ones To Watch program will be on CNN International, but may also be available for viewing online and on channels like CNN USA. Cartier and CNN (I believe) have a history of working together as media outlet and advertiser.
Consumers are used to traditional programming sponsorship and advertiser promotion. I suspect that Ones To Watch will be surrounded by Cartier advertising, but Cartier will not play a role in the series itself. CNN has announced that Cartier advertising will include both television commercials and digital media. Large brands like Cartier are in a position to invest in such media, but it really raises the bar for smaller brands wishing to compete in today’s global market, where traditional advertising in print publications has limited appeal. Digital media offers a much more diverse and complicated set of value propositions, and only a few brand such as Cartier can afford to work with major advertising agencies to facilitate such relationships.
What does this mean to the consumer? Cartier is already a well-known brand with a global following, but the Shape Your Time campaign and relationship with television shows such as Ones To Watch are important parts of their attempts to stay culturally relevant and on the minds of increasingly mobile consumers, who are presented with many timepiece purchasing options. Cartier should also be cognizant that at, the end of the day, advertising is about awareness, but their products need to speak for themselves. Only by having attractive timepieces and jewelry with a requisite level of quality can any brand hope to fully benefit from major international media campaigns such as this. cartier.com