Okay I admit it, I am a sucker. I love cross promotion, I fall for product placements, and believe brand ambassadors. There are literally hundreds of examples of great partnerships and cross promotions out there; The James Bond Omega, Breitling for Bently, and Ball for BMW. Product placement has been around since Thomas Edison and Moving Pictures, and Mad Men is a show that is built perfectly for and flawlessly executes good product placement. For seasons Five and Six, the “Mad Men” creators are going at the idea of cross promotion and going at it hard. I admit they have some great ideas and it has worked on me yet again. That’s why I am writing about it here; a two-part series on Mad Men Marketing.
Part 1: The Limited Edition Jaeger LeCoultre
After months of waiting, fans of AMC’s hit TV series “Mad Men” have reason to cheer: Season Six of the Emmy-winning drama premieres April 7th. Since the shows inception fashion and watch bloggers have been foaming at the mouth over what their favorite character was wearing in the show. Main character Don Draper has been spotted wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Hamilton, and most recently Omega (unfortunately in the first episode of season 6 the Omega has breathed its last…a bit of water). During season five, the Swiss watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre has joined the bandwagon again with the creation a special limited engraved design of the iconic Reverso line. The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 is a limited release with only 25 custom-created, numbered pieces made specifically in tribute to Mad Men.
Jaeger-LeCoultre watches have been appearing on “Mad Men” regularly since the first season, thanks in no small part to Jaeger’s North American president, Philippe Bonay, an admitted “Mad Men” fan and coincidentally, a former ad man himself. In partnership with Bonay, fan of JLC and the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner has selected some beautiful pieces for his characters wrists. He has a keen eye for choosing period-appropriate props for the show, including his characters watches. In the first season, he chose a vintage JLC Memovox for the wrist of Don Draper, and in Season Three Don began wearing a vintage Reverso.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Bonay had two rules for the creation of the “Mad Men” special edition; a very small production run, and a model that would show an understanding of the show and its world. What resulted was a special edition of Jaeger’s Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 model. Each numbered piece features the logo of Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce engraved on the case back, and comes in a beautiful walnut box also bearing the SCDP logo.
“Mad Men” fans and watch aficionados will also appreciate the accompaniments to the watch. “We’ve raided our archives to find several old Jaeger-LeCoultre advertisements,” Bonay said, of which high-quality reproductions will be included in the box. Also in the box is a copy of “Sterling’s Gold,” a book written by the show’s character, Roger Sterling, autographed by Weiner. And, Finally a personalized, letter from Roger in which he presents the gift of a new watch to it’s new owner. Written as if to a loyal staff member the letter reveals how Sterling was gifted a Reverso by his father and contains quips like: “I find it fitting to pass along this same watch to employees who have become like family to me, “I’m tired of people being late” and, “Think of me whenever you take a look at it, because I’m probably waiting for you.” The story is that the watch is a gift from Roger Sterling to a tenured employees, and each owner gets a personalized letter with his name at the top, and dated between Feb. 1 and Feb. 25, 1966. Each of the 25 watches has a different date beginning in february of 1966, it is supposed to precede Season Five which takes place in 1967.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a high-end luxury watch and clock manufacturer established in 1833 and based in Le Sentier in Switzerland, it is a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont. Originating from 1931 the Reverso was developed for polo players to protect the face during a match. The company and the model have evolved over the past eighty years with new faces, sizes and complications, but the Reverso is a mainstay. The price for the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men” is set at $8,450, and even at that price it is sure to be swell.
- Would you like to have a Mad Men inspired wrist watch? (brandsandfilms.com)
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface (perpetuelle.com)