Famed French jeweler and watchmaker Cartier has chosen to kick off an online campaign for its latest collection, Love by Cartier, on MySpace.
For the next year, the campaign is running in five languages across eight countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, China, the United Kingdom and the U.S., at www.myspace.com/lovebycartier.
As incongruous as the partnership might appear, cultural trends demanded that Cartier respond with such a campaign, according to its director of international communications, Corinne Delattre.
"Blogs, group(s) or individual Web sites are no longer the signs of a new era, but are an established reality for a whole new generation," Delattre said. "As a large brand, we must be able to communicate to this new generation of adepts of the digital world."
Dedicated to love, Cartier's online experience includes 12 exclusive songs--composed especially for the occasion by artists such as Lou Reed, Marion Cotillard, Grand National and Phoenix--along with exclusive interviews and photos. The global Cartier campaign also highlights several charities, in particular Action Against Hunger.
According to a recent Forrester Research study, only a third of the world's premium brands sell their goods online. But that's a mistake, Forrester concluded, as about 80% of high-net-worth consumers--with annual gross income and assets of at least $500,000--use the Internet daily, and regularly buy products online.
Some analysts, however, are finding the venture hard to swallow.
"This is the digital platform version of when Wal-Mart advertised in Vogue, because that's where their audience was," recalled Robert Passikoff, president of New York market-research firm Brand Keys. "You know what they got? Laughed at."
If nothing else, MySpace is using the deal to highlight its global reach.
"Cartier's international campaign is a great representation of how an international brand can create relevant and local experiences," said Travis Katz, international managing director for MySpace.
In its first few days of existence, Cartier's MySpace campaign has attracted some 100,000 visits, and "friends" like Sting.