MONTBLANC Film, Digital THE BEAUTY OF A SECOND by Leo Burnett Milan

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Industry Accessories, Bags, Leather, Watches & Eyewear
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market Italy
Agency Leo Burnett Milan
Executive Creative Director Michele Sechi Arc, Paolo Dematteis - Riccardo Robiglio
Creative Director Paolo Boccardi Creative Director Arc
Art Director Andre Gidoin
Copywriter Markus Johansson
Released June 2011


Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best use or integration of user-generated content Gold
Cyber Lions Clothing, Footwear & Accessories Silver
PR Lions Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best use or integration of user-generated content
Type of Entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best use or integration of user-generated content
Entrant Company: LEO BURNETT Milan, ITALY
DM/Advertising Agency: LEO BURNETT Milan, ITALY
Art Director: Andre Gidoin (Leo Burnett)
Copywriter Supervisor: Francesco Simonetti (Leo Burnett)
Web Designer: Marino Capitanio (Leo Burnett)
Copywriter: Markus Johansson (Leo Burnett)
Executive Creative Director: Paolo Dematteis (Leo Burnett)
Executive Creative Director: Riccardo Robiglio (Leo Burnett)
Executive Creative Director: Michele Sechi (Leo Burnett Arc)
Creative Director: Paolo Boccardi (Leo Burnett Arc)
Describe the campaign/entry
The Beauty of a Second is an international campaign for Montblanc chronographs, conceived for the web and target a worldwide audience. The simple idea was to ask people to create a 1-second long video that celebrates the fragile beauty that can be found in this small unit of time.
We depended on a type of content with a universal language. An idea so simple anybody, no matter his or her nationality, could be moved by and would feel welcome enough to participate in.
We rendered the user-generated videos submitted to the contest branded content on blogs, news-sites and channels like Vimeo, in a virtuous circle that made the project grow and spread itself to all corners of the world.


The Beauty of a Second challenge:
Montblanc created a chronograph as homage to the man who invented the original chronograph 190 years ago: Nicolas Rieussec. How could we get people to pay attention to the Rieussec chronograph and its anniversary, and build awareness for a brand mostly known for its writing instruments?
The Beauty of a Second idea:
We teamed up with film-director Wim Wenders and challenged people to capture beauty in a second-long video, creating the shortest short-film contest ever. People competed online at by uploading their 1-second videos of beauty. Online, users could also edit the submitted second-long videos to create playlists, and adding different original music scores. Wim Wenders selected both the best one-second video and one-minute playlist (like the dials on a chronograph), and their creators were awarded with a Rieussec Chronograph at a special award ceremony held in Berlin.
The Beauty of a Second branded content:
The compilations of one-second videos from the 4 rounds of The Beauty of a Second challenge were posted on The Beauty of a Second page on Vimeo, where they were chosen by the Vimeo staff and selected for the front page. This generated even more traffic and submissions:
The compilations were also featured at the South by Southwest festival on Vimeo curated screenings, at the Salon International de la Haute Horologerie in Geneva (,
At the Beauty of a Second Award Ceremony in Berlin (
And they were screened for free as a new media-screen promotion in Times Square
An album with the soundtrack of the The Beauty of a Second
Challenge was also released on iTunes and Amazon:

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

What made people enjoy The Beauty of a Second and made them want to participate in it were the presence of Wim Wenders as project mentor, the music created ad hoc, and most importantly the choice of Vimeo as the primary channel to boost the project. Thanks to the strong affinity between The Beauty of a Second campaign and Vimeo followers (video makers and visual arts fans), our video compilations and call-to-action videos were selected by Vimeo staff for the home page, guaranteeing its success.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

The Beauty of a Second built invaluable awareness for Montblanc as a watchmaker and was featured in GQ, Forbes, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Independent, ESPN and more.
“A few of the results are, simply, sublime” - The Independent
“Infinite Beauty is hidden inside the smallest particles of time” - GQ
“Every once in a while viral marketers get things right” - Colossal
The success not only resulted in a massive amount of submitted seconds, it gained the attention of creatives and amateur video makers from around the world, turning their content into valuable brand visibility. People inspired by the idea even started to make their own Beauty of a Second imitation videos:
In the end, 4,436 videos were submitted, which generated an estimated 4m video views (including submission views on-site and off-site), and an estimated 40m media impressions (including video loads, headline loads, ambient media).
The results:
40m media impressions
4,436 videos submitted for the competition
4m video views
1.4m video views only on Vimeo
45% increase of brand followers on Facebook.