Rolex has just launched a smart new new video promotional campaign called “Rolex And Icons.” People often ask us “what watch brands are using social media well?” This requires a lot of thought as only a few come to mind who are even using social media properly. We’ve even asked experts who track this sort of data and it seems as though for the most part, fashion-based brands with a lot of products for women (i.e. Cartier and Chanel) are doing it best, and it isn’t their watches that are keeping the social media momentum going. Rolex may be quite late to the social media game, but they are off to a great start.

I recently reported on Forbes regarding Rolex’s new Facebook page here. They also have a YouTube channel that launched last year. Rolex’s social media efforts are pertinent to their overall branding efforts and mark a rather good use of the media from a communications standpoint – though like many brands, they shy away from creating or encouraging an conversant community. A new series of clever and short videos will make up the newly launched “Rolex And Icons” campaign. To start, Rolex has produced two videos detailing how Andy Warhol and Elvis Presley were famous Rolex wearers.

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About 30 seconds long each, the videos have that distinct sharp sounding Rolex writing and slick production value. The message is “this guy was famous and influential… and he wore a Rolex.” Honestly, Rolex has a lot of these stories throughout history, with likely enough material for at least two dozen such videos. Rolex is lucky enough to have a roster of very famous wrists who donned their products, and using those stories for their current branding efforts is a no-brainer.

This, of course, is a non-product related campaign with little or no discussion about current Rolex watches. Rolex has understood something that I’ve been telling brands about for years – that marketing involves two distinct types of communication. One being communicating your products and the other being communications about your brand. Rolex tends to not blend the two, which in my opinion is very smart. The Rolex And Icons campaign is really just that, a sweet and simple picture of icons of history that wore Rolex watches. The videos are even presented like mini documentaries, which adds to the “informational” nature of the media. It is very well done, and a sign that Rolex has been planning how to properly tackle social media and internet marketing/advertising for a few years now.

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Rolex’s own description of the Rolex And Icons campaign is, “Worn by luminaries, visionaries and champions. By artists, statesmen, explorers and leaders in their field. Only Rolex can claim such a distinguished group of wearers from the past and present. Rolex pays homage to these remarkable individuals whose lives changed the face of the world.” Whether you like Rolex or not, want one or already own one, this is a quality series which at the very least, illustrates what luxury watch brands need to be doing more of online.

What do you think? Is this a successful and interesting campaign by Rolex? Or does it do nothing for you?

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