Styles of Communication, Vol 6, No 1 (2014)

Uniqueness and Tradition, according to Patek Philippe

Costin Popescu


Products tend to become objects of psycho-affective investments, more than instruments with practical-functional duties. Watches form a product category where this evolution is manifest. The biggest watch manufacturers sell subjective time, meant to give (more) spiritual consistency to those who buy and use them. The advertisements of a campaign carried out in the 1990s by Patek Philippe, producer of luxury watches, convey elitist values: uniqueness, tradition. The requirements for the integration of such values claim a high complexity of the advertisements; the headlines, for example, ask their addressees to redefine concepts (tradition); the body texts use argumentative layers; the images present characters whose hands form expressive configurations, etc. Such efforts to elaborate commercial messages prove the symbolic ambitions of advertising, one of the most prominent factors to mould meaning in the social life. 


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