Home Marketers How Generative AI Inspired Timex Group’s Pizza Watch

How Generative AI Inspired Timex Group’s Pizza Watch

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Just as someone might pull on their favorite jeans or shoes, accent their look with a necklace or sling a bag over their arm, they might also strap on a watch to reflect how they’re feeling that day.

“No one needs a watch to tell time,” Timex Group CMO Shari Fabiani told AdExchanger. “But they choose to have a watch as an accessory and an extension of themselves.”

Maintaining brand relevance for the 170-year-old company, a “legacy brand” in the US but new to many consumers abroad, is one of Fabiani’s top priorities. To tailor its message, the brand engages in social listening, conducts consumer surveys and speaks to its retailer partners around the world to get a read on what consumers are saying.

“We have to cross everything from [Gen] Alphas looking at their first watch,” Fabiani said, “to boomers who have known the brand from our old campaigns of ‘It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.’”

Fabiani spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: Could you describe how data can inform Timex’s advertising strategy?

FABIANI: Consumers were looking for an easier entry into having vintage watches. And they had comments and questions about sustainability and what is in our products.

We launched our Rewound [resale] program based on consumer insights. We’re taking back watches and making sure that if we can’t resell them, we take them apart responsibly and ensure that nothing goes back into a landfill. We’ve also reduced plastic in our packaging, based on [feedback from] consumers.

Has Timex ever reissued a watch or come up with a new product based on consumer insights?

We introduced an ocean-bound plastic product in partnership with #tide [Swiss manufacturer Tide Ocean SA, not the Procter & Gamble laundry brand].

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There are watches where we have launched a reissue and consumers asked for a version of that analog watch in automatic or in a trending color.

A few years ago, consumers were saying, “I wish I had more time” over and over. So we created the 25th Hour Watch, a watch with that extra hour [for April Fools’ Day 2019]. People looking to buy that watch crashed our site.

How is Timex using generative AI?

I’ve been a huge proponent of AI and think it’s interesting to test and learn. We use AI a little bit in all different types of assets.

For April Fools’, we created AI-designed watches of different foods. All the chatter on social was about [wanting] a pizza watch. The creative team did a watermelon watch, a grape watch and a pizza watch. People were voting on which one they loved, and pizza really rose to the occasion.

Could a pizza watch be in the works?

It could be. There are lots of pizza watches out there, though.

How do you choose which influencers to work with?

We engage with people who are interested in the watch. We put out campaigns and see who comes to us. It’s a two-way partnership. We might see content creators out there and message them to see if they’re interested in working with us.

The “Get Ready With Me” trend was amazing. We reached out to people who were making Timex a part of what they were doing in the day.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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