John Cleese in Accurist ‘Accur-wrist’
Leading British watch manufacturer, Accurist, is set to return to TV screens with its first television advertising campaign in a decade – a re-work of its legendary John Cleese ads. The re-released iconic advert is part of Accurist’s high impact 2009 Christmas campaign and will be supported with a targeted TV ad spend of more than £1 million, the brand’s largest to date.
Renowned for bucking trends, Accurist is leading the way for other British brands, by returning to TV as part of its dynamic advertising strategy. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the watch industry, with only 2% of watch advertising currently assigned to television. Originally released in 1978, the John Cleese “Accur-ankle, Accu-wrist!” commercial is still one of the UK’s most memorable TV advertising campaigns, for which Accurist received an array of accolades, including the Palm d’Or Advertising Award.
Chief Executive of Accurist, Andrew Loftus, comments:
“Accurist has always been a market leader in the watch industry and this year, when some brands might be fearful of advertising, we feel it’s important to remind consumers of the strength of our product and our brand heritage, hence our ambitious Christmas advertising strategy. Even today, 30 years after its original release, we still have an amazing reaction to the Accurist John Cleese advert. To celebrate the role of Accurist and John Cleese as British Classics, it makes complete sense to re-release the ad for 2009, to attract new audiences, along with engaging with current fans of the brand. We’re expecting a fantastic reaction and we’re sure our brand and retail partners will also benefit from such a high-profile campaign.”
The management team of the 63 year-old family-owned company decided to re-release the advert to celebrate the brand’s British Classic heritage and to engage with consumers that might not have seen the ad when it originally launched. The advert is part of a high impact TV campaign from Accurist to create stand-out and secure a considerable share of the all-important Christmas gift-buying market.
The 30 second ad, updated for 2009, will air across ITV, Channel 4 and a number of multi-channel stations, with confirmed high profile slots during X-Factor, Champions League and Coronation Street. The ad will air throughout December. Accurist have worked with Moxie Pictures to produce the ad and MGM for Media Buying. The TV campaign will be supported by a strong POS offering, as part of the brand’s wider Christmas marketing strategy.
Accurist is well known for its attention-grabbing and maverick advertising and marketing campaigns:
- In the 1960s, Accurist sponsored the variety show ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’, a form of advertising watch companies had never considered prior to this. Accurist watches were also worn by celebrities such as Princess Anne, Twiggy and The Beatles, gaining worldwide publicity.
- In the 1970s, Accurist signed an exclusive deal for its watches to be worn by pilots of Concorde.
- In 1986, Accurist achieved a major marketing break through by being appointed as the first ever, official sponsor of British Telecom’s Speaking Clock. Since the original sponsorship agreement, Accurist’s speaking clock received the incredible number of almost 3 billion calls, making this the “greatest sponsorship deal of all time”.
- In 1993, Accurist became the first and only Watch company to be formally associated with The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time and The International Meridian Line. Accurist provided them with the new Atomic Clock, which officially records the time for the world.
Accurist prompted considerable public debate with its 1998 ‘Put Some Weight On’ campaign, along with its 1999 ‘No Ordinary Old Timer’ adverts, which featured a Transvestite and a heavily tattooed 60 year-old woman, both wearing the stand out watches.