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Pre-SIHH social media: it’s getting real

Pre-SIHH social media: it’s getting real

Thursday, 10 January 2019
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William McNish
Strategic Planner at RE-UP

“There is nothing quite as beautiful as the spark in a person's eye when you bring up something they are passionate about.”

Creative flare with an analytic mindset.

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4 min read

With less than a week to go before SIHH, the exhibiting brands are focusing their social media presence on the fair. This year, possibly more than any before, brands have been using social media to unveil new releases in the build-up to the big event.

Over the last five years, social media has become an integral part of Fine Watchmaking strategy during SIHH. For SIHH 2017, brands adopted different platform strategies and hosted competitions, interviews and influencers on Instagram. Last year saw brands refining their channel strategies with social media winners using reveals and big-name ambassadors to control the social sphere.

What we learned from SIHH 2018

Data from last year shows a fairly even number of mentions across five to six brands, the standouts being Audemars Piguet, Cartier, IWC and Vacheron Constantin. There was also a huge presence for Diego Luna, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jing Boran, all ambassadors for Jaeger-LeCoultre which used a wealth of ambassador voices from across the globe to monopolise both western and Asian social media channels, as this grid demonstrates.

Like Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC built on a star-studded event which hosted celebrities including Bradley Cooper, Dev Patel, Adriana Lima and many others to gain exposure on social channels. The event celebrated the brand’s 150th anniversary and this, together with the jubilee collection, was widely commented both online and on social.

2019: The early bird gets the worm

While the battle to rule online and social media during SIHH is always intense, the build-up has generally been a quieter time as brands keep the media on tenterhooks to ensure maximum coverage once new releases are finally unveiled. This year, however, exhibitors have made full use of the weeks prior to the event. We’ve seen pre-releases from Hermès, Vacheron Constantin, Roger Dubuis, Panerai and many more. Whether this is to control a larger percentage of online conversations, to pre-sell timepieces, or simply to build hype for what is set to be a spectacular SIHH, only they know.

Here are some early social and online adopters that are ahead of the game:

  • Cartier has unveiled a capsule collection of Tonneau watches. With a long history that began in 1906, the Tonneau is an early indicator from the brand that vintage will remain a major trend among luxury consumers this year. Cartier’s Instagram has yet to mention SIHH, but given the massive online coverage of the new collection, this isn’t too much of an issue.
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre is again using Instagram as a driver, with three of the top 9 posts of #SIHH2019 from the brand itself. As soon as the holiday season was over, the brand’s grid became a teaser for SIHH, showcasing the new Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel.
  • IWC is opting for a different channel and has controlled a good amount of Facebook traffic during the last month. Posts have included a short video teasing the new Pilot’s watch collection which has been widely spoken about on social media.

The most searched-for keywords on Google in relation to SIHH 2019 are Panerai, IWC and Cartier. Panerai is another brand that kickstarted its SIHH strategy immediately after the festive season, with a huge push focused on its product innovations and experiential/explorative nature.

On social media and in general, the run-up to SIHH is always an exciting time. With the wraps coming off so many amazing timepieces, imaginations run wild as to what else brands will be showing next week. Stay tuned for the latest news!

SIHH 2019

35 exhibitors: 18 Historic Maisons and 17 in the Carré des Horlogers.

  • Historic Maisons: A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Bovet, Cartier, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Hermès, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin.
  • Carré des Horlogers: Armin Strom, Christophe Claret, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, DeWitt, élégante by F.P.Journe, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, Ressence, Romain Gauthier, RJ, Speake-Marin, Urwerk.
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