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International luxury goods marketer Cartier may be French, but its new ad campaign seeks to disguise those roots in favor of a multinational positioning.

A new global campaign, appearing in 123 countries, features minimal ad copy and dramatic photography so that the same message can be communicated in Brazil, Japan, Russia and elsewhere throughout the world.

"While we've had international ad campaigns in the past, this one is designed in a completely new way so that it will be well perceived in all the countries that we're in," said Pierre Rainero, Cartier international marketing director in Paris.


The shift in strategy comes as Cartier sales grow outside the traditional major markets of the U.S. and Europe. Last year, sales in Asia rose sharply as Cartier opened seven new shops in the region. Japan, in particular, recorded strong increases, Mr. Rainero said.

The campaign, handled by Paris-based Les Ateliers ABC, is a major departure from past efforts that relied on TV commercials to sensually present the brand. Those spots aired in Europe and Asia, and featured couples celebrating love to "La Vie en Rose," orchestrated and sung by Elton John.

Cartier's new approach zooms in on one medium-magazines-to showcase the broad range of products and the fine workmanship of its jewelry, scarves and watches.

The campaign, timed to coincide with Cartier's 150th anniversary, targets upscale audiences with a combination of spreads and single pages in magazines including Cigar Aficionado, Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Town & Country, W and Wine Spectator. Media buying for most of Cartier's markets is done by Euro RSCG.

While the campaign may be global, decisions about ad budgets are made locally at Cartier's 25 subsidiaries.

"We don't have a set formula, such as a percentage of sales," Mr. Rainero said. "We leave every market to choose the level of their investment based on their sales objectives."

Cartier, owned by the Vendome Luxury Group in Luxembourg, doesn't release advertising or sales figures for the brand.

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