American Marketer


Hublot gets hairy to support male charity

March 9, 2015

Hublot's cricket watch Hublot's cricket watch


Swiss watchmaker Hublot is expressing its dedication to art by hosting a photography exhibition in collaboration with the viral movement Beard Season.

The exhibition debuted on March 6 at Somerset House in London and features photography by Mr. Brock Elbank that captures men with beards in an attempt to raise awareness for melanoma. Staying true to its motto “Hublot Loves Art” will allow the brand to connect with consumers and express its desire to help make the world a better place.

“Hublot is a very masculine brand,” said Philippe Tardivel, marketing director of Hublot, Switzerland. “We have a little femininity as well that we have expressed recently, but overall there is an element of a strong masculinity.

“This project expresses the trend of masculinity while also combining an element of charity, which is how this whole project started," he said.

“Beard Season is a nice fit for our brand because Hublot is at first unique and different. We felt this was a project that fit well with our clients.”

Beard boys

Beard Season is a viral movement that was created in 2010 by Jimmy Niggles to commemorate the life of one of his close friends who died of melanoma at the age of 26. Mr. Niggles organized a movement in which he and his friends grew beards to encourage conversation about the disease and share their friend’s story.

hublot 1

Mr. Elbank's work was inspired by Beard Season's viral movement

Beard Season has an Instagram account and urges followers to commit to getting a skin check, to grow out their beards and become Beard Season ambassadors. Mr. Elbank was inspired by the movement and created a number of images to celebrate individuals who defy convention and work to improve the lives of others.

hublot 3

The exhibition included many images of bearded men

By partnering with a project like Beard Season and supporting Mr. Elbank’s artwork, Hublot is showing how committed it is to promoting both art and charity. This gives the brand a wholesome and endearing image that will appeal to consumers, while at the same time encouraging others to participate in similar projects.

Hublot’s international acclaim will likely help Beard Season gain more publicity and promote its cause. It is a mutually beneficial relationship for both organizations.

hublot 4

Subjects posed in front of their portraits

Charitable changes

Hublot frequently takes action to support artistic endeavors and stay true to its motto “Hublot Loves Art.”

For example, during Art Basel Miami Beach Dec. 4-7, 2014, the Swiss watchmaker opened the doors to its newest boutique in the city’s Design District.

The opening of the watchmaker’s Hublot Galerie in Miami’s up-and-coming Design District marked Hublot’s fourth boutique in the state of Florida. During Art Basel Miami Beach, the city is flooded with affluent art enthusiasts, so opening shop during this time likely melded with the events unfolding for the annual art festival (see story).

The brand also has partnerships with a number of other organizations, including those dedicated to athletics.

Recently, Hublot integrated into the world of cricket as the official timekeeper of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Cricket attracts attention from fans all around the world and with this partnership, Hublot established itself in a similar, global, manner. As one of the first luxury brands to sponsor the sport, Hublot likely gained fan appreciation throughout the season and world cup event (see story).

By remaining involved in these activities, Hublot shows that it is more than an ordinary watch brand. Its consumers can see that the watchmaker has an incredible amount of heritage and cultural relevancy.

“Basically at Hublot we have the motto 'Hublot Loves Art' that we use for some of our projects, for instance at Art Basel in Miami or in China where we do a lot with the arts,” Hublot's Mr. Tardivel said. “Photograph is a modern expression of art.

“These photographs are really full portraits, and they could be paintings," he said. "They are strong as an artwork, and the talent of the photographer is overwhelming; it is true art.

“Also this is a charity project because Mr. Niggles had a friend who passed away from melanoma. Obviously in that respect at Hublot we like to share. For instance, we are involved with Charity: Water. We always try to find a charitable element to things when possible.”

Final Take
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York