NEW YORK: Timex, the watch brand, has combined the knowhow of its in-house agency and an external shop on a new campaign, showing the importance of putting the brand – rather a specific business model – first.

The company recently rolled out the multi-million dollar "Wear it Well" campaign – developed by Toth + Co, a Boston-based agency – to commemorate its 160th anniversary.

Michael Muligano, Timex's vp/creative services, told delegates at the In-House Agency Forum about how the brand's in-house shop had welcomed the chance to work with an external partner in a more thoroughgoing way than ever before.

"They came up with this campaign. We're embracing it, because part of what we need to do is check our windows a bit more," Muligano said. (For more, including how Timex's in-house agency maximises the use of its creative assets, read Warc's exclusive report: How Timex's in-house agency saves time and money.)

Creatively, this effort celebrates the brand's watches as a style statement, reflecting the fact they are – in the age of connected devices doubling as a clock – today involves making a fashion statement as much as telling the time.

More broadly, this tie-up demonstrated that internal agencies do not have to serve as the exclusive source of ideas: instead, their main duty is to understand what is best for the brand.

"One of the advantages of in-house is that we know our brands better than any outside agency would, and we know what we need," Muligano said.

"We're passionate about what we do, we love the brand that we work for and we want to protect it, we want to grow it. We want to see sales get back up there. So we fight for the things that we feel are right."

He admitted it had been "tough" to put a face to the brand, not least because it was difficult to find a positioning with international relevance in the fashion sector, where Timex effectively now plays.

Overcoming this challenge, however, means it is able to move beyond product advertising alone to promote its portfolio, ranging from the "Originals" vintage collection to digitally-connected offerings.The "Wear it Well" communications will run in multiple markets across the globe, with a particular focus on print, online and out-of-home.

Data sourced from Warc