Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Strength is in the Giving Story, Not This TIME

While reading a recent issue of MORE magazine, (and the same magazine I was featured in the April 2007 issue), I came across a full page advertisement for Baume & Mercier watches. The ad had Teri Hatcher of Desparate Housewives wearing one of these exclusive watches. So, just another company securing a celebrity face for their product? For sure!

Baume & Mercier and Teri Hatcher contribute to programs that improve education, seek to cure cancer and protect the environment. When you visit the "charity-celebrity" webpage it doens't tell you anything about their partnership, giving campaigns, and not even a story about it. Nor did the ad.

OK, I am going to be hard, but this is not how to tell your cause related marketing campaign story. Their is no connection to consumers. No connection to a story. Aside from the barely there message, there are too many causes aligned with this campaign. You can't figure out which causes are those of Ms. Hatcher or Baume-Mercier. That is important to the brand. As a matter of fact on the webpage it directs viewers to another individual who appears to manage the charity-celebrity inquiries. What? This re-direct to who? For what? I just want to hear HOW Baume & Mercier is giving back and why the connection to causes they selected. What's the heart felt message that consumers need to hear? Are they making contributions through the sale of every watch purchased? Teri Hatcher is beautiful, but I am not buying a product based on celebrity endorsement. I can't connect with a celebrity. But I can connect with the reason why a company wants to make a difference in the world. I am interested in the corporate culture behind the product made.

In an article I authored several months ago, I recommend companies to not stick with pink because it's popular (not to discount the importance of a cause but rather to dare to be your brand), be focused on cause(s) that align with brand and that consumers can clearly get why you identified the charities you did and then communicate that story, that message. Keep it simple. Surely, the Baume & Mercier ad didn't capture that.