G-SHOCK was introduced in 1983, which is officially defined as the paleolithic era of technology. Short for “gravitational shock” it rapidly became a cult and a cultural icon based on its gutsy graphics and reputation for durability. Gear Patrol writes that it has a “peculiar aesthetic and is “revered by many as the toughest watch on the planet.”
But cult and cultural icons rapidly end up on the scrapheap of memory – have you watched your VHS of “Breakfast Club” lately? – especially in the watch category, especially when something called Apple Watch appears on the scene and the tectonic plates of coolness have shifted.
G-SHOCK, however, avoided that fate through constant innovation for new generations. Nonetheless, eventually, the brand needed a refresh, and they came to HOW to reignite the passion while democratizing the brand and making it more accessible.
G-SHOCK’s social presence needed a strategic and executional reinvention, they were “posting to post” with no strategy, no best practices, and an absence of video. The brand had become stale, a fatal spiral for a decades-old product that demands freshness and relevance to stay on-trend. G-SHOCK needed a social shock.
We reviewed G-SHOCK’s quantitative consumer research, conducted a sentiment analysis using our proprietary tools, and mapped that against a trend-scan. Based on that work we developed a strategic framework that we called “Fash and Bash”.
Our objective was to jolt the storytelling and communication with a strong fashion angle, supported by the durability of the product. In other words, we used fashion and lifestyle to create a new heritage and used the legacy toughness to reinforce the primal heritage.
To bring this new heritage story to life, we embarked upon a high-visibility digital campaign that integrated influencers with leading-edge fashion photography expressed through compelling video. We conceived and executed all aspects of the program, going so far as to have members of our team shoot and appear in the videos, delivering a blast of authenticity that captures the passion and talents of our agency.
To reinforce the primal heritage of durability – the Bash – we went so far as to drop the watch off buildings and other torture tests. These were shot with a contemporary visual aesthetic so that we maintained the radical modernity aspect that was central to the brand’s reimagining.
Wu-Tang, Bodega, Super Mario Bros. and HODINKE x John Mayer
A complete rehaul of the brand’s social visual identity