By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
New York--Adweek has dubbed Shinola as “the coolest brand in America” following the watch company’s appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week.

This year at Baselworld, Shinola introduced its first moonphase dial watches. Pictured here is the Gomelsky Moon Phase.

Detroit-based Shinola, which also makes bicycles, leather bags, wallets and belts, iPhone cases and pocket knives, got an in on the show after its executives learned Kimmel had purchased a Shinola bike for his wife, Adweek writer Robert Klara said.

The 90-second plug on the show--a mock game show called “Can You Tell S#*t from Shinola?”, a reference to the phrase used in World War II about Shinola brand shoe polish--gave the brand an audience of 3 million. It can be seen here.

“Shinola has done a solid job of getting out in front of consumers since it was started up four years ago,” Klara said. “It is unusual for an accessories brand to garner so much attention, but Shinola has the kind of story that feels tailor-made for post-recession 21st century America.”

Shinola sells its watches wholesale to both independent and chain retailers and also has multiple brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S., including in Detroit, New York and Minneapolis, and last September opened its first standalone store in Europe in London’s Soho district.

In December, CEO Steven Bock told National Jeweler the company wanted to open five to six stores every year for the next several years, but were focused less on quantity and more on finding the right markets and real estate.

“Our stores are a big part of the marketing, and experientially we keep those stores activated,” Shinola Chief Marketing Officer Bridget Russo told Adweek. “We really want people to see the stores as part of the community.”

Aligning with that sentiment is Shinola’s “Say Nice Things” advertising campaign, launched early in 2014. The brand promised that for every #SayNiceThings post on social media, it would write those intentions on paper embedded with seeds that would later be planted throughout Detroit.

“We hope to play a role in seeding and growing positive sentiment--not just here in Detroit and not just online but across the globe,” the company stated.





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