Supplier News

NEW ADS SHOWCASE BULOVA’S MARKETING MUSCLE

A new marketing team at Bulova Corp. has wasted no time creating new consumer advertising to support a bolstered product line.

The past year was good for the 121-year-old U.S. firm, a division of the Loews Corp. Sales rose 25% overall, 15% for 14k gold watches and 20% for a revamped Caravelle line, says Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hoffman.

The increases occurred without a large-scale consumer advertising campaign in 1995. This year, the company’s strategy is vastly different, starting with a nearly $8 million budget, up 25% from 1995, for advertising, marketing and in-store programs.

A new advertising campaign aimed at consumers adds a “human element” to the traditionally strong product emphasis. “We’d like to reach a somewhat younger group, where quality time and real value are important,” says Fae Druiz, director of marketing services and public relations. “Women purchasers are also critical — that’s why many of the ads feature the ladies’ diamond collection.” The popularity of the 14k gold woman’s watch, with and without diamonds, has grown especially quickly in the past two years, says Druiz.

Druiz and Frances Abraham, the new vice president of marketing, have been working nearly non-stop since early this year to fine-tune Bulova’s image, presentation and products to appeal to its core consumer and retail buyers. They have focused on reinforcing Bulova’s strong name recognition.

Bulova ranked third among all watch and jewelry companies in brand-name recognition in a recent nationwide poll by Women’s Wear Daily. Gift boxes and display cases used for the popularly priced Caravelle line have been upgraded, and all the faces in the line’s watches now say “Caravelle by Bulova” to take full advantage of the brand recognition.

The new ads each feature a photograph of a parent with his or her child over the tag line “Of all the things you give him [or “her” in some versions], time is the most valuable.” In another version, the tag line is “Remember the time…” The image and tag line are next to a large image of a Bulova watch. Featured in the first round of ads are the models from the Marine Star, Ladies’ Diamond and Bulova Bracelet collections.

The ads are running in fall editions of national consumer magazines, including Vanity Fair, Family Life, McCall’s, Modern Bride, Redbook, Men’s Health, George, Black Enterprise and Vogue. Every ad will carry the name of local Bulova retailers, as will billboard advertising. In addition, the company is increasing its use of mall-based advertising and has created a new wave of in-store brochures.

Product introductions: Some of the ads feature watches new to the high-end Accutron line. They include several men’s models and — for the first time — distinctly styled women’s versions. Of 21 new Accutron styles, 10 are for women and some feature diamonds. “In the past, Accutron has paired the watches with a ladies’ and men’s version,” says Druiz. “This will help develop interest among women in what has traditionally been a man’s line.”

The ads for Accutron, which feature a bold “Guaranteed Until 2021” tag line, will continue in selected publications this year.

Earlier this year, Bulova announced it had obtained three new licenses for clocks. It introduced clocks inspired by the Beatrix Potter children’s books, clocks styled to complement the Pfaltzgraff dinnerware line and clocks inspired by the Walt Disney Co. movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

More recently, the company obtained a license from the Frank Lloyd Wright studio. The company has already introduced some Frank Lloyd Wright clocks and will soon introduce a watch.

E.B. HARVEY STARTS ON-LINE SALES

E.B. Harvey and Co., Chattanooga, Tenn., has produced an on-line catalog and ordering system. Based on its own computer server network, the service is dedicated exclusively to support its own products.

A retailer can install software on a personal computer allowing the viewing of more than 20,000 wedding rings, anniversary bands and earrings. Orders may be placed via computer 24 hours a day.

The first 500 retailers to sign on to the service receive discounts and 100 minutes of free long distance telephone calls for each $1,000 worth of merchandise purchased. For more information Call E.B. Harvey at (800) 251-7474.

COMPETITION TO HONOR WATCHMAKING INNOVATION

The Abraham-Louis Breguet Foundation, a two-year-old organization independent of the watch firm bearing the Breguet name, has created a watch innovation competition.

Called Prix de l’Innovation, the contest will award 50,000 Swiss francs next year to reward inventiveness and technical skills of a single watchmaker or group of watchmakers.

The competition is open to anyone. Request entry forms by writing to the Abraham-Louis Breguet Foundation, Prix A.L. Breguet du 250eme, Attn. Emmanuel Breguet, Switzerland, 1344 L’Abbaye.

HIRSCH SEEKS ENTRIES FOR ‘POWER TROPHY’

If the watch attached to your wrist has a bracelet made by Hirsch and has accompanied you on harrowing adventures, you could win the Austria-based manufacturer’s Power Trophy. The prize rewards the most spectacular, original or unusual test of a Hirsch watch bracelet.

To prove the durability of the leather bands when worn during extreme conditions, Hirsch is looking for “real people, from hobby divers to firefighters” from around the world to tell their stories.

Three contestants from each country represented will receive leather bracelets and have a chance at winning the grand prize — an adventure vacation for two to Carinthia, Austria, and a trip to the highest peak in Austria guided by world famous climber Ernst Schwarzenlander.

Retailers and consumers can fill out entries at any store that sells Hirsch bracelets, by e-mail at office@hirsch.co.at or on the World Wide Web at http://www.hirsch.co.at. Every e-mail entrant will receive a Hirsch T-shirt or hat (while supplies last). The deadline is Dec. 31, 1996.

FARGOTSTEIN ACQUIRES SOME ASSETS OF SOUTHERN WATCH

S. Fargotstein & Sons, a jewelry and equipment manufacturer in Memphis, Tenn., has acquired certain assets and the name of Southern Watch Supply Inc., Charlotte, N.C.

Fargotstein will maintain a sales office in Charlotte, and sales manager Larry Boxer and salesmen John Hondros and Larry Currie will continue with the company. All product will be shipped from Memphis, says Fargotstein President James Delgadillo.

SUPPLIERS ON THE GROW

Silver importer ATHRA TRADING moved to larger offices at 236 Fifth Ave., 11 Fl., New York, NY 10001; (212) 532-6023.

Jacques Jugeat Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary of Lalique S.A., has changed its name to LALIQUE NORTH AMERICA. The change more closely aligns the company with its French parent and reflects its growth in North America and a commitment to a global corporate identity. The company will continue to distribute Lalique’s expanding product line and also distribute other French brands, such as Puiforcat, Philippe Deshoulieres, Haviland & Parlon, Cristalleries de Lorraine and Jean Louis Coquet. Lalique has more than 30 boutiques worldwide. In the U.S., there are boutiques in New York City and Beverly Hills, Cal., and the company plans to add five more in other major cities over the next three years.

SPEIDEL, the Providence, R.I.-based maker of watch bands and watches, has signed an agreement to distribute Goebel’s M.I. Hummel and Steinbach crystal to jewelers in North America. Goebel of North America, based in Pennington, N.J., is a wholly owned subsidiary of W. Goebel Prozellanfabrik of Rodental, Germany. Call Speidel at (800) 441-2200.

Swiss luxury watch maker VACHERON CONSTANTIN moved its U.S. executive offices and service center to larger quarters at 20 W. 55 St., 12 Fl., New York, N.Y. 10019; (212) 713-0707, parts department (212) 489-0093, fax (212) 713-0735.