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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"A crown for every achievement"

The first thing I want to do is to put this add in context. Although what you see here is just a picture, the reason I chose this is because I remembered the commercial version I saw on television during one of Federer’s great matches against Nadal. Prior to this I had always associated “Rolex” with wasted money, a needlessly expensive product that rich guys buy just for show. But by using Federer in this ad, Rolex is trying to associate itself with excellence, or “achievement” as the ad says. Since the commercial would play during the match (and an ad like this would probably be found in a sports or ‘for men’ magazine), it assumes that the audience appreciates Federer’s achievements. Rolex the watch is still the signifier, but what is now signified is excellence on a general level as opposed to simply wealth. This is also indicated by the way Federer is dressed—in a suit rather than a tennis outfit. The message isn’t that Rolex is great for excellent athletes, but that a Rolex is great for people who have achieved something great. It wasn’t hard for me to think of something I’ve achieved in my own life, and soon I found myself thinking, “Shouldn't I have a Rolex?”

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