What Montblanc SEA has in store as it eyes a generation of younger consumers

Montblanc has launched a new campaign to promote its 1858 collection, inspired by the Minerva watches from the 1920s and 1930s. Called “The Spirit of Mountain Exploration – Montblanc 1858”, the campaign banks on the brand’s history with watchmaking, paying homage to Minerva’s 160 years of heritage.

The campaign is also based on the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere, which honours the heroes of mountain climbing with a professional-grade, innovative timepiece, and those dedicated to the Seven Summits Challenge. This will see the brand working with renowned Singaporean mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow for content as he scales Mont Blanc, a mountain in the Alps, which the Montblanc logo is based on. Khoo is a Singaporean mountaineer who was one of the only two who made it to the summit of Mount Everest in the country’s first expedition up the mountain. Today, he is a adventure consultant and motivational speakers.

Through the campaign Montblanc’s is looking towards engaging with a younger consumers who value excellence and exploration, Benjamin Goh, head of marketing and communications, Montblanc SEA, said in a conversation ahead of the campaign launch.

“We also worked closely with local agencies to ensure consistency across all local market activations, and that our global campaign messages came to life in an engaging and exciting manner,” Goh added.

The campaign also spans offline, digital, print and social channels. Other social media executions so far were also through the engagement of explorer Chris Burkard to develop a digital logbook. This saw Burkard paying tribute to the “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” via Instagram Stories, in a bid to create an authentic link to the idea of exploration, and capture the attention of younger consumers.

The Singapore campaign was kickstarted at a recent experiential event which gave customers the opportunity to interact with the brand and its products. The target audience for the campaign includes collectors and aficionados who appreciate fine watches and movements, along with young adults looking to start their mechanical watch collection.

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When asked about the brand’s plan ahead, Goh said that events are also a big part of Montblanc's marketing strategy - which usually consists of larger launches and ones held inside the brand's boutiques. This allows the brand to identify the core products and campaigns which allow it the opportunity to reach out to a younger target group.

"It also allows us to increase our storytelling capabilities and identify which product has the potential reach out to also mature target audiences," Goh explained, adding that this gives Montblanc the flexibility to explore different channels of communication and methods of engagement both online and offline.

On current trends in the luxury sector, Goh explained the increasing trend of consumers going back to heritage and convention in the age of digital and innovation. This saw the brand engaging with customers on other types of Montblanc products such as writing instruments.

The more things [digital] normalise, the more novelty something like a pen or other writing instrument becomes.

That being said, when it comes to the luxury sector, innovation is crucial and the better we are able to do that, the better a position we will be in,” Goh added.

The global Montblanc 1858 Spirit of Exploration campaign first started in October 2017 globally, followed by the launch of the watch collection this year in Geneva, and later in Singapore in June 2018.  Globally, Montblanc worked closely with Jung von Matt to come up with the creative of “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” campaign, Meanwhile, MediaCom handled the media, digital and social buying aspects of the campaign.

“The Montblanc timepieces of today continue the journey of 160 years of Minerva legacy and the experience will take modern-day explorers to new heights of watchmaking,” Matthieu Dupont, president of Montblanc SEA, said.