Rolex Dabbles With Storytelling “Icons” Campaign

I was pleasantly surprised to read this update by JWT yesterday on LinkedIn:

“Rolex doesn’t just tell time. It tells history. Check out the new #worldmade global campaign celebrating history’s Icons.”

Now, I’m not the “Rolex type”, but this campaign peaked my interest. Why?  Rolex is associated with most of my iconic role models.  In this campaign, they remind me of them and their connection with the Rolex brand.  They’re acting as  storytellers in both substance and narrative.

“Worn by luminaries, visionaries and champions. By artists, statesmen, explorers and leaders in their field. Only Rolex can claim such a distinguished group of wearers from the past and present. Rolex pays homage to these remarkable individuals whose lives changed the face of the world.”

One can argue that advertising has done celebrity endorsements for years now, why is this so special?

Simple, it’s not your traditional celebrity endorsement, Rolex is establishing the connection in the form of “story”.  They pay homage to these remarkable individuals whose lives have changed the face of the world. The soft sell.


Rolex presents: Elvis Presley

Rolex presents: Andy Warhol

Embracing Social Media

On April 24, 2013, Rolex did something that few saw coming – they created their official Facebook page.

It was a fairly average page, that is, until they posted this update about the campaign…

Boom! Over 39K likes, 5k+ shares and close to 1.1k, mostly positive comments!

Not many luxury watch brands get new age brand building, for a while, I thought none would.  Rolex seems to be on track.

Some recommendations:

  • Develop the story further, it still appears a bit “salesy”.  It’s not about your brand, it’s about the back story (achievement!), your brand just happened to be there.  A brand that does that well is P&G with their Mums campaign.
  • Host the conversation.  Your YouTube channel doesn’t allow for commenting?  Why?
  • Take it to the next level. Get your fans to share their stories, surely they’re also icons in their own way?  Within their family units and friends maybe?  This may dispel some of the negative sentiment some have towards this type of celebrity endorsement.
All in all, a job well done!  Hat’s off.



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