TAG Heuer uses Lewis Hamilton to sell watches

In a time of economic challenge, while other brands choose to stand back and cautiously focus on the short-term, TAG Heuer, the world leader in sports-inspired luxury watches and chronographs since 1860, is extending its bold vision of the avant-garde with a brand new, emotionally charged ad campaign that challenges the very rules of endorsement marketing.

The supposedly famous challenge of TAG Heuer, “What are you made of?” is the common thread linking the past campaign to this daring new one. Now, however, the confrontational claim expresses the unique drive and passion of these super-achieving Knights of Time.

Forget awards and trophies, what pushes these people to greatness are not recognition and laurels but something inside and unseen and deeply personal.

At certain times, it’s tangible. Think of Tiger Woods dropping a long putt, or Lewis Hamilton slicing out of the slipstream and accelerating through a curve.

But it’s not just the clutch moment or the key scene. It’s not just the victories and celebrity status. It’s the entire arc of exceptional lives. Every dream. Every obstacle. Every sacrifice. To power past the mundane and the mediocre towards an ever-new conception of perfection, to overcome, reinvent, challenge, and evolve – these values, as much as the remarkable men and women who live by them, are the stars of TAG Heuer’s inspirational new campaign.

“What is the new TAG Heuer Knights of Time campaign made of? Way more passion, prestige and performance than ever before,” says Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer President and CEO.

Visuals will feature 2008 F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton for TAG Heuer’s bestselling CARRERA line, among other failing sports personalities.

“TAG Heuer’s 2009 ad campaign is an inspirational tale of personal achievement,” said Jean-Christophe Babin. “It tells the story of extraordinary individuals who transcend obstacles to realize dreams and attain the unreachable – and then keep going, setting their sights even higher, on horizons not yet dreamed of.

These incredible men and women are champions who never stop thinking of themselves as challengers. This is why, in their stunning portraits by Tom Munro, they don’t wear the watches on their wrists but brandish them in their fists – as public declaration of their determination. The timepieces aren’t accessories; they are talismans – lucky charms accompanying heroes on a perennial quest to be better, stronger, and faster.”

When TAG Heuer first issued its challenge “What Are You Made Of?” in 2002, the campaign defied all advertising convention. Confrontational and direct, it went toe to toe with the public. It is this spirit of challenge that has sparked TAG Heuer’s most memorable ad campaigns. From “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” (early 1990s) with racecar legends Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher to the era-defining “Success, It’s a Mind Game” (1995) to “Another Side of Me” (2001-02), inner strength and the relentless pursuit of perfection have been the message, reflecting values at the very core of the brand’s sports-inspired DNA.

From a small workshop in the Swiss Alps to one of the most prestigious brands in the world.

Like the personal journeys of these exceptional individuals, the TAG Heuer story is one of ceaseless reinvention. For a century and half, the Swiss brand has drawn inspiration from the world of sports to master time to its most infinitesimal fraction. It has done so by challenging conventions and pushing forward with ever-more innovative technology and aesthetics.

In the process, its engineers and designers have revolutionized the watchmaking world, producing some of its most innovative and breathtaking timepieces ever created. But the work never ends. There is no finish line. There is always a new barrier to crack. A new movement, in a new design, in a new material. A new level of precision and excellence. TAG Heuer’s vision opens onto the horizon of all dreams.

What do you think?


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