Fossil Yara Shahidi


Fossil continues to bolster its focus on wearables, releasing the next iteration of its longest-running campaign launched earlier this year.

Fossil, part of Fossil Group Inc., has kicked off fresh marketing featuring “Black-ish” actress Yara Shahidi and “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom Jr. as part of the next phase of a campaign that began in April with Kristen Bell.

The initial creative released earlier in the year has so far seen a “great response,” according to Fossil chief creative officer Jill Elliott with Bell helping boost the women’s business. Austin Mahone, another famous face in the brand’s advertising, has helped Fossil resonate in Asia, Elliott added.

The company hopes the next phase of the campaign, focused on its Q Venture and Q Explorist smartwatches, will also resonate and grow the audience base with two stars at seemingly different points in their lives: Shahidi, who the watch brand thinks could resonate with a younger audience, and Odom, who recently welcomed his first child.

The mostly digital campaign will include video and still images online in addition to some print. About 80 percent of the company’s advertising spend and marketing efforts will be played out between now and the end of the year.

The company’s confident in the wearables business with plans for the overall group — which includes its namesake and Misfit lines along with the licenses for brands such as Kate Spade and Diesel — to see the launch of more than 300 smartwatches across 14 of its brands this year.

Part of the company’s optimism in the overall business stems from its significant focus on the wearables business and what ceo Kosta Kartsotis said in the company’s second-quarter earnings release was traction in smart devices.

Fossil Group reported companywide net sales for the quarter ended in July off 13 percent to $88.6 million, which it attributed to shortfalls in leather and jewelry along with a stronger U.S. dollar. Connected watches for the company appeared to be a bright spot with their sales helping offset declines in the traditional watch category, the company said.

The group swung to a loss of $344.7 million in the July quarter, compared to $6 million in earnings in the year-ago period.

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