Ananya Pathak

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Telling the time is no longer the preserve of the wristwatch. TMX tries to gain relevance by positioning itself as a 'wedding gift'. We spoke to Ajay Dhyani, head-marketing, Timex India, about the ad.

Gone are the days when a wristwatch was solely used to track time. Consumers today demand more than just functionality. Catering to this category means infusing a sense of desirability into the products. With the invasion of smartwatches into the market space, traditional watches are attempting to reposition themselves as more than just an accessory.

Timex's new campaign - 'khushiyon ki ghadi' - launched for sub-brand TMX watches, attempts to position the brand as an affordable gifting option for the wedding season, particularly for prospective tier II audiences. The first ad film released as a part of the campaign features a real-life wedding.

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Ajay Dhyani

Over a telephonic conversation with afaqs!, Ajay Dhyani, head-marketing, Timex India, says that over the years there has been a rapid shift in consumer behaviour. "The purchase decision is no longer influenced only by marketing or advertising done by the brand. Social media is playing a significant role in reaching out to potential customers and building a connection. Consumers today are smart and informed. One can't trick them into buying a product," he explains.

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Titan Raga's #FlauntYourFlaw ad

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Titan Raga's #BreakTheBias ad

Discussing the ideation of the campaign, Dhyani says, "In our conversations with the consumers and surveys, we realised that a huge segment is looking at a plain, simple, free-hand-movement watch which would be a safe gifting option. The scope for international quality, standard affordable watches is also high, especially in tier II and tier III regions. In this segment, the wedding season is one which is looked up to. We saw a huge opportunity and grabbed it."

Genesis BCW conceptualised the ad film.

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Timex 'Underwater' ad released in the past

Today, the category aims to offer a product that is complete, smart and makes a strong statement when worn. Timex, however, is not the first brand in the category to try and prove its relevance by riding on the emotional and happiness quotient. In the past, Titan Raga caught our attention by advertising around its topical subject – women.

Other competitors in the category include Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Fastrack, and Casio, among others.

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Rajeesh Rajagopalan

Rajeesh Rajagopalan, Mumbai head, Grapes Digital, commenting on the idea and execution of the film, says, "Considering the brand is targeted at the small-town audience, the concept of 'khushion ki ghadi' looks promising and can have a lot of extensions. The execution looks very 90's and could have been much better. The idea of using real-life snippets instead of actors is good to build the connect, but the final film, overall, could have been much better, shorter and crisper. I am not sure if it would hold the audience for one and a half minutes."

Talking about the recent changes in the category, he adds, "Overall, the watch category is going through a titanic shift, where watches have become more of an accessory rather than a functional product. Mobile phones have literally replaced the functional benefit of the watch. In today's time and age, where smartwatches are the trend, advertising in this category is a huge challenge.

"Some of the best communications in this category have been from Titan Raga, where watches have been positioned as a lifestyle product and not a functional one. That connects much better with the audience," Rajagopalan states.

"Can't trick consumers into buying products": Timex CMO

Neeraj Bassi

Neeraj Bassi, chief strategy officer and managing partner, Publicis India, feels that the execution is grounded and real. It captures the emotions of a wedding at a mass level.

"The tagline - 'khushion ki ghadi' - brings about the connect with watches well. But I am not very clear on the strategic objective of the ad. Is it a wedding collection? And is it for the bride and groom or everyone at the wedding? 'Yaadon ke sang' is not a strong connect for the brand. Also, I feel it lacks the launch feel with weak branding, which would be important for a new proposition like this," he comments.

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