Current Clients: Richemont Group (Cartier, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Chloe, Dunhill, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Lancel), L’Oreal, Sanofi Aventis, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lancôme
Born: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Worked in: Belgium; France
Describe an innovative idea or business solution of which you are most proud. Recently I was able to bring Cartier to the gay community with the relaunch of the Love Bracelet. Part of Cartier’s series on ancient designs and legends, the Love Bracelet was modeled on the fabled Chastity Belt, claimed to be used by husbands to lock around waists of their wives to ensure fidelity. It can only be taken on and off with a tiny screwdriver, symbolizing a “locked up” or committed relationship. When launched, Cartier presented bracelets to 25 famous couples, including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Our relaunch program featured a leading gay publication with product placement and a fashion portfolio. Subscribers were invited to a taped private evening of shopping and cocktails at the Paris flagship store. Sales were exceptional.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Everything we come in contact with today can potentially be construed as media; therefore, innovation is vital to our business. We need to understand how each instance of contact between a brand and a consumer can build a unique communication platform around an essential idea.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Fear of change is today’s biggest challenge; many marketing people have been trained to avoid risk. Innovative thinking requires brave clients.
How does your international background affect your work? I find myself drawn to newer, smaller markets which are often more innovative than the major ones markets. We know good ideas can come from everywhere, and I see that proof every day from different parts of North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.