Last Sunday Cartier aired a 3 ½ minute long commercial on three major networks: CBS, ABC, and NBC. This was a major shift in marketing dollars for the luxury retailer, as its previous media placement spend has been mostly allocated to magazine advertisements.
So, why the sudden shift to $3 million TV commercial placements?
When live TV commercials were first introduced in the 1940s, the commercials ran at 60 second spots and eventually decreased to the more modern 15 second time spots. Today, these 15 second spots enable most TV advertisements to be creatively short. They usually highlight value and benefits and are ultimately all versions of one another, at least within each industry. Many are lacking in differentiation and consumer appeal.
Recently, however, there have been a number of retailers, including Chipotle and Gap Inc., that have caught sight of this redundancy. They shifted strategy and instead opted to create multi-minute long TV commercials. Not only are these advertisements enormously longer than competitors, but as a consequence they tend to “roadblock” competitors from airing during the same sitcom.
The most recent contender, Cartier, debuted its new commercial on Sunday night. The debut appropriately aired during “The Good Wife”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, and “Desperate Housewives” sitcoms, all with demographics akin to that of Cartier’s target audience. Their commercial placement is of heightened importance because Cartier needed to not only grasp and hold consumer attention span for minutes longer, but also ensure that the many more dollars invested in capturing the extra time have a valuable return.
So, how does Cartier do this?