Superb product integration from Hamilton Watches in Chris Nolan’s Interstellar

Watching Chris Nolan’s Interstellar yesterday, I noted the key role played in the story by a pair of watches – one worn by Mathew McConaughey’s character Coop and the other gifted by him to his daughter ‘Murph’, just before he leaves on his journey to the stars.

The camera focuses on the watches several times and one can clearly see that they are two different types of Hamilton watches. Coop wears a Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date watch, whereas the one he gives Murph is actually a piece custom built for the movie.

In fact, this is not just a simple one-dimensional product placement exercise, but a full-fledged, multi-media product integration by Hamilton, in much the same vein as Under Armor’s integration with Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year.  Hamilton started off with a slightly customized version of the Interstellar trailer (a bit disappointing, as the only customization is the top-and-tail branding, with no clips of the actual watch scene from the movie.

They simultaneously launched a contest to win one of the watches featured in the movie. The contest website also features the movie trailer and a nice bit of interactivity where you can custom design your own watch; here’s the one I put together.

I have no doubt that Hamilton is going to get a lot of buzz and sales as a result of this superb bit of product integration.

I also recalled the Hamilton watches featured in the Men In Black movies over the years, with the last movie MiB3 featuring a pair of really cool new versions of the Ventura models that have featured in the previous movies.

The Hamilton website has a detailed list of Hollywood films over the years in which Hamilton have got the film’s stars to wear their watches, going all the way back to Robert Wagner wearing one in The Frogmen (1951), Elvis Presley wearing a Ventura model in Blue Hawaii (1961) and the astronaut characters wearing custom designed watches in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which is the movie most closely associated with the meditative tone of Interstellar.

Product integration like this really works; I’ve never given a thought to Hamilton as a ‘watch brand for me’ in the past, but having been exposed to the brand like this through an awesome movie experience, I’m sure I’ll be keeping an eye out for a Hamilton the next time I walk by a watch store!

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