American Marketer


Jaeger-LeCoultre supports ovarian cancer fighters through in-store exhibits

August 15, 2014

Harold Parr portrait of Valisia LaKee Howard Parr portrait of Valisia LaKee


Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre is partnering with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance on a campaign to boost awareness for the disease.

Jaeger-LeCoultre will help raise funds for the organization through in-store events featuring one photographer’s work capturing survivors of the cancer. Since this is a cause that hits close to home for Jaeger-LeCoultre, the brand is not only showing its corporate social responsibility, but also its heart.

"The inspiration for Jaeger-LeCoultre to champion ovarian cancer most likely stems from the brand's long association with acclaimed photographer and watch expert Howard Parr and the personal experience he had with the disease," said John Casey, senior vice president of Havas Public Relations, New York.

"The partnership allows the brand an opportunity to help a worthwhile women's health organization, and provides an opportunity for its customers to give back, and the exhibits will help draw attention to the organizations fight against ovarian cancer," he said. "Finally, the funds raised through this endeavor will help educate women and health providers about this disease."

Mr. Casey is not affiliated with Jaeger-LeCoultre but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Jaeger-LeCoultre was unable to comment directly before press deadline.

Teaming up

The collaboration began in May, at the Alliance’s annual Teal Gala, where a special edition of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin was auctioned live. This timepiece has a teal alligator strap and the Alliance’s logo on its caseback, which can be flipped to appear on top of the face.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Lady, Ovarian National Cancer Alliance[1]

Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverson Lady Ultra Thin for the Alliance

Philippe Bonay, president of Jaeger-LeCoultre North America, watched his own mother fight ovarian cancer, making this a personal cause for the brand. In a brand statement, he said, "We could not be more proud to associate our name and our efforts in raising awareness about the ‘silent killer’ alongside the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.”

Jaeger-LeCoultre was also inspired to work on this cause by Howard Parr, a photographer and watch expert whose step-mother passed away from ovarian cancer. As she battled the disease, she continued doing the activities she loved.

After seeing his relative’s experience with cancer, Mr. Parr decided to photograph ovarian cancer survivors partaking in their favorite hobbies. These became black-and-white portraits of women with one item in the picture tinted teal.

5- Fran golfs every week with someone from her family - Photo credits, Howard Parr

Portrait of Fran by Howard Parr

For instance, a photo of Fran shows her golfing, which she does weekly with a family member. In the picture, only the golf ball is teal.

Ten limited edition prints will be sold throughout the summer to benefit the Alliance.

2- Kathleen cherishes every moment with her grandchildren - Photo credits, Howard Parr

Portrait of Kathleen by Howard Parr

Jaeger-LeCoultre will be displaying some of these prints at two separate events at its boutiques in Beverly Hills and South Coast Plaza in California on Sept. 8 and 9, respectively. For the seven days following the events, the watchmaker will donate 10 percent of sales to the Alliance.

For those who cannot attend the event in person, Jaeger-LeCoultre shared a number of Mr. Parr’s portraits on its Tumblr.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Teal Survivors Tumblr

Tumblr post from Jaeger-LeCoultre

In the fall, Jaeger-LeCoultre will introduce five men’s and five women’s styles of teal alligator straps, for which 10 percent of sales will be donated to the cause.

The Alliance works to help educated women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which is without an effective test for early diagnosis. In the United States, 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer annually.

Cause oriented
Jaeger-LeCoultre previously lent its support to the (RED) Foundation by including two custom timepieces that were part of a larger capsule collection auctioned off at Sotheby’s New York on Nov. 23.

Part of a larger capsule collection containing 44 items, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s contributions were customized by Sir Jonathan Ives, senior vice president of design at Apple, and industrial designer Marc Newson. Curated collections for charity initiatives are likely to entice affluent bidders due to the limited availability of the items and the degree of authenticity imparted by the theme (see story).

Other jewelers have crafted special lines to raise awareness for a particular disease.

For instance, Britain's Astley Clarke boosted its philanthropic efforts by selling a new rose gold bracelet to benefit Britain and Ireland’s Breast Cancer Campaign.

The bracelet was sold in boutiques, select retailers and online, while 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each bracelet went directly to the Breast Cancer Campaign research. To promote the new bracelet and the cause, Astley Clarke hosted a release event and is using digital platforms (see story).

Corporate social responsibility is most effective when it connects to the brand and its consumers.

"A brand's CSR efforts should be meaningful to its customers, and Jaeger-LeCoulre's championing of ovarian cancer is particularly important to the women who purchase the brand's timepieces," Mr. Casey said.

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York