Armani Exchange finds proper time to launch new watch line

Armani Exchange (AX) - Giorgio Armani's mid-priced urban fashion brand - recently launched a national marketing campaign to support its new watch collection.

Objective: Armani Exchange (AX) – Giorgio Armani's mid-priced urban fashion brand – recently launched a national marketing campaign to support its new watch collection. The effort, including a viral component, media relations, celebrity partnerships, and advertising, looks to drive watch sales and leverage the new category to generate awareness of the overall AX brand, said Patrick Doddy, VP and brand director at the company. The watches, available in AX stores and Macy's, are licensed through Fossil. “I think getting a new product category gives you a reason to speak to the customer in an organic way,” he added.

Strategy: Working with AOR Shadow PR, the team had tapped the renowned DJ Tiësto in March as a spokesperson to help identify with [the young post-college audience] and translate internationally, said Doddy. “We're just playing up the whole ‘time' and ‘after hours' [message], which is very much a part of the [AX] brand.” The team kicked off the launch campaign on April 16 with a red-carpet event in Los Angeles. Celebrities like Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria attended and autographed watches to be auctioned off for charity.

Tools: Tactics include outreach to national fashion and entertainment print, online, and TV outlets; editorial product placement; ringtone giveaways; and Web promotion on DJ Tiësto's Web site and an AX Facebook page. This week, it plans to post a promotional video that it hopes would go viral. Next week, it will focus on a more regional media strategy.

Measurement: The team will track sales and media placement. “[The initiative] is partly to generate buzz and add names to a database,” said Doddy. “But in this economy... we'll measure [success] in sales.”

Company: Armani Exchange
Campaign: AX: Time
PR Team: Internal and Shadow PR
Launch: April 16
Budget: Undisclosed

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