Written by: Catherine Wolinski
Raymond Weil, following suit as one of the few Swiss luxury watch brands that remains independently owned, did something quite unconventional this year—appropriately in line with the “indie” persuasion, the watchmaking company held an international photography competition for its fans, allowing anyone and everyone to enter, as well as vote for, photographs of their liking. The platform of the competition, Facebook, confirmed the relevance, and, in fact, necessity, of social media to promote brand awareness in any industry.
Holding a worldwide competition was easy to achieve using a global social networking website as a contest “location,” requiring only that contestants and voters “like” the Raymond Weil fan page on Facebook in order to participate. Though the International Grand Prize, awarded to Mathieu Bernard-Reymond for his stoic piece titled “Crude Oil Prices,” was selected by the International Jury (representatives of Raymond Weil), the contest also included three Public’s Choice Awards, voted on by Facebook fans. The competition divided international fans into three different regions: Europe & Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The three public winners, one from each region, were Silvia Pogoda, with 117 votes, Yuan Weifa, with 47 votes, and Omar Gamez, with 36 votes, respectively. All three winners’ claim to fame is owed to fellow Raymond Weil Facebook fans.
As stated in the official announcement, the winning picture was chosen due its effort “to put into question the solidity and permanence of our relationship to economics, landscape and history.” One might say the photograph corresponds with the watchmaker’s image of sleek beauty and purity. The company’s watches, after all, use nothing but the purest ingredients, ranging from stainless steel to 18 karat gold. Unfortunately, the photo has thus far inspired much less flattering remarks than Raymond Weil watches from Facebook fans, but it hangs proudly still on the website wall as 2011’s international winner. Congratulations, Mathieu!
Any blogger or social networker knows that the digital world never stops spinning, and Raymond Weil isn’t following far behind. Since the announcement of the photography competition winners, another contest has already been announced—the Valentine’s Day Contest, held not by Raymond Weil but by Unicorn Jewelry & Watch Boutique, a designer bridal store that the watchmaker “likes.” In this new contest, which began on Jan. 15 and will accept submissions and votes until February 12, 2012, fans are called on to submit love letters of a three-sentence minimum. The winners will be those who attract the most “likes” for their submissions, and the three prizes offered will be gift certificates of $250, $150, and $100.