Rolex's Product Placement Highlight Reel Makes For Brilliant Oscar Ad


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How The Luxury Watch Company Reviewed Its Impact On The Movies

Advertising during the Oscars is good marketing. Product placement during the Oscars is great marketing. Combining the two? Brilliance.  Other watch companies - and brands in general - could take a lesson here on a strategy that will lead to sales success.

During the 2017 Oscars, Rolex premiered an ad highlighting its prominent roles in award-winning films over the years, reminding everyone just how timeless and entwined in Hollywood the Rolex brand is. In this blog, Hollywood Branded recaps Rolex's 2017 Oscars ad that highlighted the brand's legendary Hollywood product placement over the years.


How Rolex's Ad Reminded Us Of The Power Of Cinema

Rolex's new ad premiered during Sunday's airing of the 89th Academy Awards, and was made up of a montage of Hollywood actors and actresses wearing Rolexes during famous scenes in movies. The actors featured in the spot include Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Peter Sellers, Jim Carrey, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway and Dennis Hopper.


Perhaps its most poignant moment, however, was the shot of Bill Paxton filming the wreckage of the Titanic in Titanic with a Rolex on his wrist, just hours after he passed away due to complications from surgery. Whether planned or simply fated, the inclusion was an elegant nod to both the beloved actor and a movie that ties for most Oscar nominations of all time.  And with the fact that ads take weeks to create - and have scheduled - it's unlikely it was anything but chance.

The ad ties together classic Hollywood themes and the Rolex brand, showing the versatility the watch has seen throughout its film career, yet its enduring elegance in every role. The ad ends with the tagline, "It doesn't just tell time. It tells history."

Timing And Content Are Everything

The ad's message is simple - cinema is magical, and Rolex has been a part of it since the beginning. Cunning characters, romantic heroes and epic villains alike sport the Rolex in movies that have defined what cinema is. The classic Rolex watch adorning the wrists of the greats of Hollywood past and present is a brilliant way to remind the viewers of the timelessness of their brand - especially during the Oscar presentations.

Oscar ads usually go for between $1.9 and $2 million per 30-second ad, making them one of the most expensive - and most-watched ad nights on television, reaching almost 35 million viewers. For Rolex's brand, this audience was an ideal target for them, reaching affluent consumers who value taste, fashion and that classic Hollywood glamour.

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The ad has already broken into iSpot's Top Ten Most Engaging TV spots, with almost 150,000 views and counting on YouTube and 10,000 social media shares. 

With this ad, Rolex reminds us that brand integrations do not lose value after the placement is over; rather, the placement becomes a powerful asset to your brand for years to come, especially when amplified in a way like this.

For more on amplifying your brand integration assets, check out our blog post How To Use Product Placement Assets To Amplify Your Brand Onscreen.

Want To Add Product Placement To Your Entertainment Marketing Mix?

Are you interested in integrating product placement into your entertainment marketing mix, but simply don’t know where to start? There is so much more to it than you may think, and it is important to be educated about the key tactics to best fit your brand. Download our infographic today to start learning more!

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide