As the watch industry tries to get its marketing communication up to speed in cyber space, knowing how to place brand videos on the Internet and determining what would be of real interest to clients is not always evident.
The boom in online watch videos
Two billion. . . This is the number of daily visits to YouTube, the leader in social networking, in the sharing of online videos. Five and a half million. . . This is, for the watch industry, the total number (not the daily figures) of views for videos of the 25 watch brands analyzed in the WorldWatchReport 2010.
The section devoted to Social Media in the study conducted by IC-Agency in partnership with Europa Star examines the manner in which brands are visible on this particular social networking site. In searching for information on these brands using the internal search engines of YouTube —the second largest search engine after Google in the United States—we quickly found that a large number of videos is available: for example, 5,000 for Rolex, 2,300 for Hublot, and 1,900 for Audemars Piguet. In fact, we can find just about everything on YouTube. From aficionados proudly sporting an haute horlogerie model, to advertisements by brands, to reports and corporate films—we must also not forget promotional videos to sell counterfeit items—we are sometimes quite far from the traditional universe that the brands have already mastered.
Breakdown of most viewed videos by source January to December 2009, ©IC-Agency 2010 WorldWatchReport
Communication on the ‘model’ dominates on YouTube
What is clear is that certain types of content are more popular than others. To identify the key factors in successful watch videos, the WorldWatchReport 2010 study examined and categorized each video according to its origin (where it came from) and its content (what it talks about).
The results demonstrate that the mini-films on the various watch models are the most watched videos in the realm of watch communication. In fact, 53 per cent of the total views of the 125 videos analyzed deal with watchmaking products as compared to 26 per cent and 21 per cent for the brands themselves and their ambassadors, respectively. The experts and invited contributors to the WorldWatchReport 2010 study share their opinions on these results. For Robert-Jan Broer, Editor of Fratello Watches, “Video reviews of a watch will give the consumer better insight into the product he or she wants to buy; the product becomes alive.” Ariel Adams, from aBlogtoRead.com, explains that “consumers are very interested in what watches do, seeing them in action, and getting what information they can from videos that text alone cannot provide conveniently.”
The Subject of Watch Brands Videos Content January to December 2009, ©IC-Agency 2010 WorldWatchReport
Fan videos top the list
Watch-related videos posted by fans now account for 43 per cent of brand visibility. This presents an opportunity for brands to support these fans, who often have a high power of persuasion. Ariel Adams adds, “Fan videos also include the large segment of watch reviews. These are personal reviews by fans that not only provide opinions on ownership experiences, but also provide actual images of what a product looks like. Consumers crave actual images of products in addition to marketing images, which don’t make a product feel real. At the same time, brands should be aware that the opinions and recommendations of trusted fans are highly influential in the purchase decision.”
As to the 9 per cent share of views for corporate videos, brands would do well to remember that it is not enough to merely publish their presentation videos on YouTube; they must also adapt the content to these new supports.
In terms of videos related to particular events, which garner more than 27 per cent of total views, Robert-Jan Broer explains that this type of content “is nice to give the consumer a feeling that he or she belongs to that group of people, owning a watch from a certain brand or type.”
Focus on the 3 most popular videos: Hublot, Breitling and Rolex (as of March 2010)
Hublot: Jet Man: 569’624 views / Event / Ambassador
Breitling: World Ice Speed Record – Fastest Car on Ice 321 km/h: 460’286 views / Event / brand
Rolex: Rolex GMT Master II Review: 340’855 views / Fan / Model
Controlling the content
Regarding moving from traditional communication techniques to getting the luxury brand message out on new territories such as social networks, the invited contributor to the WorldWatchReport 2010 study and editor of Hodinkee, Benjamin Clymer concludes, “This brings us back to the control-of-content debate. Brands are simultaneously gaining control over information on some levels—live-casts, direct communication with consumers—while losing it on others. Fans may post whatever they like and have the potential for it to go viral. In the past, many brands discounted the power of one negative review, but now they are forced to realize that one customer can influence millions.”