Motorola Lampoons the Luxury Watch World With Its Moto 360 Campaign

'A Watch for Our Times' Campaign Debuts in Time for Holidays

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For its first smartwatch ads, Motorola is getting cheeky.

Ahead of the holidays, the handset manufacturer is launching a campaign for Moto 360, its computerized wristwatch, which began selling in September. The campaign parodies the solemn marketing of the luxury watch industry. "A Watch for Our Times," is Motorola's bid to showcase its entrance into the new category before it gets far more crowded -- early next year, Apple is set to unleash its Apple Watch on the market.

It's also a chance for the company to flaunt its new branding following a transitional year. After a brief tenure within Google, Motorola Mobility officially joined Lenovo in October. Both companies said Motorola's marketing team and agenda would remain in place.

"Craftsmanship," an opulent voice-over begins in one new spot, as the camera pans over a well-dressed model. "Style. Burritos." The man receives a notification on his watch that his food is ready. Another spot, "Chad," features a concert pianist interrupted by a lewd text message.

'A Watch for Our Times' campaign from Motorola
'A Watch for Our Times' campaign from Motorola

"We want to be more playful in our approach," Adrienne Hayes, Motorola's CMO, told Ad Age in September. The company is positioning the Moto 360, which retails at $249 and $299, as simply a watch, not a "smart" device. In its promotions, that playful approach means plenty of potshots at the incumbents in the watch market. Ms. Hayes said she would be repurposing "the model that the traditional watch industry has used for, it seems like, centuries, and we're taking a fun spoof and spin on that."

The campaigns features six different videos, which will run only on digital properties. There are two 15-second spots designed for Instagram. Droga5, Motorola's agency-of-record, is behind the creative.

In August, Motorola opted to premiere its device with a giveaway on Yo, the gimmicky messaging app. The promotion suffered technical glitches and upset some social media users.

Moto 360 was also among the first devices out with Android Wear, Google's customizable software system, and it looks to be leading the pack. Canalys, a research firm, reported that Motorola accounted for 15% of the five million wearable bands shipped during the third quarter, placing ahead of rival connected watches from Pebble and LG. Samsung, which has released a flurry of gadgets, commands 52% of the overall wearable market.

Apple is expected to trump everyone. Canalys predicts "smart band" shipments will hit 28.2 million in 2015, with Apple taking a dominant position. In a recent report, Morgan Stanley analysts estimated Apple would ship 30 million units next year.

Motorola spent $191 million in advertising in 2013, as a part of Google, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

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