PARIS — In unsettling times, people tend to gravitate toward classics, and Cartier is seizing the moment to round up its house staples for a group display.
In a campaign that launches Wednesday, the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned label will showcase Santos, Tank, Ballon Bleu and Panthère watches alongside Love and Juste Un Clou bracelets, with a splayed-out Trinity ring anchoring the lineup.
“I think they are reassuring in this context,” said Arnaud Carrez, marketing and communications director of Cartier International, who spoke to WWD through Zoom.
“They resonate very much with the times we live in because they are tangible, they are durable, permanent and I think beyond the aesthetic strength that defines them, they convey a really unique emotional value for our clients,” he added, noting the house traditionally markets product families separately.
As luxury groups jockey for position amid a fast-changing landscape — with digital channels suddenly thrust to the forefront amid pandemic-induced store closures, for example — larger labels are seeking to consolidate their leads, leveraging financial firepower to seek market share gains — a key metric in the choppy business environment.
“We felt it was really important to express the singularity, the uniqueness of our maison through one single campaign. And we also felt that it was the right time for us to celebrate these creations because, as you can imagine, they are proving more resilient than the others in this unprecedented context,” he said. The executive also stressed that the products have universal appeal, with clients of different generations and from different parts of the world.
Asked how the label tunes in to client demand, Carrez cited social media — with people sharing memories linked to certain pieces — as well as its broad geographic reach.
There are around 270 Cartier stores around the world, in addition to its e-commerce network and call centers.
“This is a formidable source of insight and the fact that teams have built such a strong and continuous relationship with their clients, it makes these relations even more strong and personalized,” he said. The crisis has served to accelerate the label’s “new retail map,” which is being constantly adjusted, he added, citing the rollout of web sites around the world, starting with the U.K., launching a new client marketing platform, tightening the links between digital communications and stores and programming events in boutiques.
The brand hasn’t been able to do many in-store activities, but continues to work on organizing more events that go beyond products, with talks organized about corporate commitments, for example. At the same time, the company is working on rejuvenating visual merchandising and renovating stores.
“Many things are being addressed at the same time,” he said.
The current context is showing that labels with distinctive positioning are best placed to succeed, noted Carrez.
“I think Cartier is proving to be resilient, robust in the current circumstances and is definitely part of the first-class luxury leaders,” he said. Brand equity is the house’s “most critical asset,” he said, noting the expansion of brand territory with discussions of corporate social and environmental commitments as well as product stories.
New launches like Clash and the Pasha products have served to modernize the label’s image, he added.
This campaign will be featured at local events, and a global pop-up store concept will be deployed differently around the world, reflecting a decentralized approach.