watch this space (cos it’s about watches)
If reading magazines tells me anything it’s something about watches. I wish I could be more specific about that but until now my conclusions have been, well inconclusive. The only thing I’m certain about is that men’s magazines have a lot of watches in them. Take the latest copy of esquire (the one with JT on it) as a slightly obsessive case study.
ok so the maths bit:
esquire has 210 pages
of those 210 pages 28 are watch ads made up from 21 different ads
that’s 13% of the magazine dedicated to watch ads
there are an additional 9 pages somehow dedicated to watches
that means that overall 18% of the magazine is related to watches
the human body is about 5% wrist (i don’t know, i’m bad at estimates)
Clearly owning an extravagant watch plays a large part of being an upwardly mobile male. This is bad news for me. I may own three watches but they’re all made of lego and clearly designed for children. This is also bad news for advertising as watch ads are some of the most boring print ads out there. My ‘extensive’ research has uncovered three painfully generic ad formats:
1) the simple aka the lazy
This ad runs on the premise that the watch is clearly so amazing that just seeing it is enough. (Wo)Men are clearly so dense that the very sight of watch close-up drives them into some watch-based frenzy that results in the purchase of an overpriced timepiece. I’ve included a horrible example and another that is less repulsive and even slightly clever (on the left in case you didn’t work it out). The watch is simple so the ad is simple, get it? It’s like *the* VW ad. But your wrist is involved.
2) the endorsement aka the other lazy
When the sight of a watch alone is not enough there is only one solution. Stick it on, or even by, a celeb and they’ll fly out of the shops. I particularly love how awful the above examples are. On the left we have Leonardo di Caprio showing you how not to wear a watch. On the right, Jimmy Wales (the wiki guy) stands (super)imposingly ‘beside’ the watch. Jimmy wales? Really?
3) the adventurous aka the wtf?
I’m guessing the point of these ads is to show their resilience. Realistically though does anyone care really care if your watch can withstand a storm? How relevant is this resilence going to be? My lego watch is waterproof (or something) up to 50m under water. Even that’s more than I’ll ever need. It also has Woody on it.