Does TAG Heuer really spend more on marketing than other brands?

  1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 31, 2015

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    We're all used to seeing the standard critique of TAG Heuer as a brand around the online world. To those who don't like TAG Heuer, one of the points that often gets thrown up is that its just a marketing brand, and what you're really paying for is marketing costs as against the cost of making a watch. But is this right?

    Getting consistent data is very hard, but take a look at the following sources:
    - US Ad spend by brand: http://www.watchtime.com/wristwatch...brands-spent-the-most-on-advertising-in-2013/
    - China Ad spend by brand: http://www.statista.com/statistics/...iture-levels-of-luxury-watch-brands-in-china/
    - Estimated Annual production and revenue by brand: http://www.watch-insider.com/econom...nover-major-watch-brands-switzerland-germany/

    It's important to note that this estimate of watch brand revenue is not based on the retail price of watches, but rather what the brands sell the watches for to their distribution channels.

    Of course, it would be more useful to have total global ad spend, but this data isn't available. But in the US and China, we have two of the largest markets. Likewise, we're mixing years of spend here. When you add that data together, here is what you get:
    Ad Spend.jpg
    Let's ignore Chanel, Tudor and Montblanc, who are outliers for various reasons (Chanel I suspect includes non-watch advertising; Tudor was relaunching during this period and so it's not a normalised level of spend; Montblanc is likely either includes non-watch spend, or shows the massive investment in China of launching the brand as a watch company).

    For the other brands, what you see is a fairly tight range of 2.0% to 4.5% of total revenue being invested into US+C marketing, with TAG Heuer and Omega being the highest. However, I suspect that if you had the global data, some of the differences would be evened out. In most countries, Rolex are the largest spender, but Omega went on a huge investment splurge in China in 2012, which pushes up the Omega spend. Likewise, TAG Heuer has struggled for sales in China, but is investing plenty to increase awareness.

    Most consumer good companies invest between 20-30% of total sales into marketing, and there is no reasons why watch brands should be any different. If we had perfect data, I'm confident that the global averages for all watch brands over the medium term would be..... more or less, identical.
     
  2. Hubert

    Hubert Jan 31, 2015

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    Good analysis David. I suspect there will be a big push for China moving forward, especially, since the dial diameter sizes are on a downward trend, when compared to recent years.
     
  3. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Jan 31, 2015

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    Thanks Hubert. Some amazing numbers in that various data sources. Blancpain spends USD12m in China on marketing...and USD1.78m in the US!!
     
  4. Hubert

    Hubert Jan 31, 2015

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    Amazing It's a whole new word out there, which is why everyone wants a piece of China and other high profile emerging markets.
     
  5. elbeik

    elbeik Feb 1, 2015

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    I can the figures for the Middle East (estimates, I work in advertising) - but I can tell you Rolex advertises almost daily in leading newspapers in Saudi Arabia.

    Tag Heuer is very present in the UAE, and they are also having more and more flagship boutiques in the region.
     
  6. Devil

    Devil Feb 1, 2015

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    i think it feels that way too, but their ambassadors are generally good people. They make a good product and still innovate.