Simply As a result of: 8 Kitschy Watch Ads That Epitomize The ’80s

In a lifestyles earlier than HODINKEE, I labored as a copywriter for the world’s greatest promoting corporate. My crew and I rolled out multimedia campaigns around the ASEAN area for purchasers that produced the entirety from pickup vans to yogurt. So I do know a little bit in regards to the time-tested ways for promoting a product. You’ll lean into nostalgia, taking customers to a more practical time (excellent for iced-tea commercials), or tout what is new and progressed, creating pleasure across the long term (like it’s possible you’ll for an exhilarating new detergent).

Having mentioned all that, watch commercials within the nineteen eighties appeared to do not one of the above. Nowadays, the classy, temper, and color in those commercials are as right away recognizable as permed hair and acid-wash denims – and simply as out of fashion. And but, someway, that makes them much more lovely. And regardless of all of it, the watches themselves nonetheless glance nice.

Seiko (1986)

Whilst maximum Seiko commercials from this era center of attention on Seiko’s technical prowess, this advert promotes the brand’s reliability, going so far as quoting a girl with a thick southern accessory pronouncing, “It is extra dependable than my husband! My husband’s no longer round anymore, however my Seiko is!”

Casio (1987)

What if extraterrestrial beings descended on Earth to gather samples of our watches for exam via their overlords? Would the watches move muster? Smartly, the Casio fashions would, in fact – particularly the Databank style, which retail outlets as much as 50 telephone numbers or dates. Or the heart beat watch, which Martians may just use to review their middle charges. Assuming they’d hearts.

Rado Diastar

Any other alien advert. On this one, a race of featureless pajama other people seems to be mining for herbal sources within the shadows of a fallen Statue of Liberty. Kinda dystopian for a watch business, however that is ok!

Swatch: The New Wave in Swiss Timepieces

Like a undeniable Rick Astley tune recorded in 1987, this business is immediately awesomely tacky and cheesily superior. This actual gonzo advert flies within the face of all my copywriter sensibilities. There is not any chronology, there is little or no reinforcement between the visuals and the reproduction, and the viewer is not strolling away with a transparent message. It is simply chaos.

Timex (1985)

Timex watches do extra than simply inform time – some degree pushed house on this delightfully surreal business, which depicts watches getting used as seaside chairs, racquetball partitions, and dance flooring. Who directed this, Salvador Dali?

Citizen: Watch, Watch Out

Right here we undergo witness to what seems to be a lover’s tryst. The motion performs out to a girl’s breathy voiceover reciting the mysterious tagline of “Citizen watch, watch out.” A unprecedented use of infidelity as a advertising and marketing device.


On this spot, Sekonda illustrates the perception that The united states and Nice Britain are “two international locations divided via a not unusual language.” Whilst I will’t relatively make out the entire reproduction, I feel the tagline “Beware of pricey imitations” is unbelievable.

Rolex (1986)

Despite the fact that only a minute lengthy, this advert someway seems like a documentary about Reinhold Messner, who famously wore an Oysterquartz to the summit of Mt. Everest. It is all tied along side a super tagline, “Made to accompany the achievements of guy.”

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