Advertising Focus: TW STEEL

TW Steel is celebrating the end of the first year of its three-year association with the Renault F1 Team in its role as ‘Official Timing Partner’.

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The Dutch watch brand, still a relative newcomer on the international timepiece market – having only just celebrated its fifth year of operation – has enjoyed phenomenal growth worldwide and, at the end of the 2009 season in Abu Dhabi, committed to a sponsorship of the Renault F1 Team.

Utilising this association as the brand’s global marketing platform for the next three seasons and taking full advantage of the brand awareness and consumer engagement opportunities offered by Formula One, TW Steel, aka ‘The Watch in Steel’, immediately set to work on the designs for the Renault F1 Team collection, highlighting its new F1 partnership and further establishing itself as the ultimate luxury creator of oversized watches.

The Watches

The first designs for the Renault F1 Team collection were unveiled in March 2010 at Baselworld, the world’s leading watch exhibition.

Comprised of two separate design platforms – the Renault F1 Team Pilot collection and the Renault F1 Team CEO Tech editions – TW Steel has created models that will appeal to both race fans and watch enthusiasts alike.

The four-model Renault F1 Team Pilot collection celebrates Renault’s early association with the aviation industry, where the world’s first oversized watches originated in response to industry needs for larger timepieces with bold, easy-to-read faces for greater visibility.

The Renault F1 Team CEO Tech collection, also with four models, offers a more luxurious edge to TW Steel’s partnership, embracing the Renault team’s world championship-winning pedigree and the high-end lifestyle connotations associated with Formula One.

The Adverts

Four print advertisements were created to herald the arrival of TW Steel’s Renault F1 Team Collection to showcase the product and the Renault F1 relationship.

These targeted, one-of-a-kind print advertisements – many of which accompany magazine spreads featuring the Renault F1 Team or its 2010 drivers, Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov – have been used globally by TW Steel’s distributors across 80 countries to reinforce the F1/TW Steel partnership.

Design Brief

The design brief for the F1 watch collection advertisements had to tick a broad range of boxes. Not only did the new Renault partnership need to be forefronted, but it was crucial that TW Steel’s brand message –‘Big in Oversized Watches’ – should come across loud and clear to consumers.

TW Steel has a strict policy of advertising only one watch per advertisement – a policy essential to ensure the unique features of each and every one of their spectacular pieces are given due attention.

While researching and brainstorming ideas for these new F1-inspired designs, Ton Cobelens, TW Steel’s Chief Design Officer, was delighted to discover that Renault, at the beginning of the 20th Century, was the very first car manufacturer to design and produce a lightweight engine, especially for aeroplanes.

For Renault, a long and successful association with the aviation industry followed. In general, technological bonds between the aviation industry and Formula One have also continued to flourish.

The Execution

Each advertisement clearly displays the featured model and, in the Renault F1 Team Pilot collection case, its connection with Renault’s aviation heritage. Its modern-day R30 Formula One entry is showcased.

TW Steel’s Pilot models, as seen in the two respective adverts, deliver their own striking, contemporary take on the format of a pilot watch – the origins of the first oversized models.

Both of these models are available in 45mm and 48mm case dimensions – one featuring the 3-hand execution (Pilot Advert 1) and the other a chronograph execution (Pilot Advert 2). The Renault F1 Team colours and logo feature prominently in the design.

The CEO Tech models reflect a more prestigious, high-end association with the Renault F1 Team and stand out distinctly in each advertisement. More elaborate in their design, they capture the lifestyle elements reflected by the Renault F1 Team’s participation in Formula One, and, as such, the advertisements for these models feature the team’s R30 more prominently, complete with TW Steel branding that is clearly visible on the sides.

The CEO Tech timepieces are available in 44mm and 48mm, and while both sport a chronograph movement, one features a distinctive steel case, and the other a black PVD-coated case with stunning gold-plated accents.

Advertising Case Study:

TW Steel’s UK distributor, SWICO, maximized the association between the brand and its partnership with the Renault F1 Team to support the launch of the Renault F1 Team collection into the UK market through a planned advertising campaign.

TV advertising slots were booked and combined with a sponsorship of the Formula One page on the Sky Sports website to create a campaign that would reach the specific F1 demographic with banners, MPU, and pre-roll TVC’s featuring the TW Steel Renault F1 Team watches.

Print advertising was also secured in prominent car magazines, including EVO, CAR, Motor Sport and F1 Racing, along with national press coverage in newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph.

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