Time Isn’t On My Side

There were bizarre moments for brands at this year’s French Open tennis tournament.

Novak Djokovic smashed his Perrier player’s bench in frustration over Rafael Nadal’s strong start. The French bubble-water-maker nevertheless was prepared, and a new bench, with a pristine Perrier logo, debuted during a rain delay.

It’s a lesson watchmaker Longines could learn from. Longines is the official timekeeper of the French Open grand slam with branded Longines clocks tracking match time at both ends of the court. One of the digital Longines timekeepers went a bit wonky early in the two-week run at Roland Garros, blinking erratically.

Perrier could very well have left its busted bench on court through the rest of the final. No one confused Djokovic’s attack on the bench with the brand – it was all about how he was playing in the first two sets. And the smashed logo wasn’t associated in any way with the Perrier product itself.

But that demented flashing clock! It’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a distraction to the players. For that reason alone, Longines should have gone out of its way to repair the thing. But the primary reason to fix the clock is that it isn’t just a brand logo, it’s one of their timepieces, a demonstration of the quality of their brand.

Brands sponsor sporting events to draw attention to themselves at a time when millions upon millions of viewers are tuning in. But this isn’t the kind of awareness they want: Look! Our clocks don’t work!

3 thoughts on “Time Isn’t On My Side

  1. I wonder what Longines was thinking, leaving a malfunctioning clock on display like that?
    The company gives the impression that they either 1) don’t care about the players, 2) don’t care about their product, or 3) don’t care what consumers think of the company because they’re “too big to fail”!
    They need a better PR person calling the shots!

    Good for Perrier for providing a new bench!

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