Barber Warren gets animalistic for online watch purchases


The Atlanta-based shop uses strong animal portraits to demonstrate smarter watch buying for client Crown & Caliber

Ahem, at one point or another, we’ve all maybe felt like an ass for purchasing something online that didn’t turn out to be all that. This feeling is especially true when buying luxury items. Not that I ever did. Ohhhh no.

But it does create a sort of buyers’ paranoia and skepticism where you begin to ask yourself, “Is it authentic?” “Am I paying too much?”

“Is it stolen?”

Ignoring that last question, the team at Atlanta’s Barber Warren(formerly knowns as Drum Worldwide) has now personified these fears in an outstanding print campaign that positions online watch seller Crown & Caliber as “the only online source that makes buying a pre-owned luxury watch a fearless, winning experience.”

Crown & Caliber describes themselves as an authentic pre-owned watch seller. The company accumulates high quality pre-owned watches, checks and verifies them, and then sells them to the consumer with the promise of a much faster and hassle-free buying experience compared to buying direct from another consumer.

Called the “Trust Campaign,” the four ads feature an animal’s head on a human’s body striking a pose with a crappy watch. While mostly stock images were used and retouched by Atlanta-based We Monsters.


Barber Warren (ran by Creative Directors Hal Barber and Bob Warren) describe themselves as brand activist creators for clients including BlackFin Square, Coca-Cola, Crown & Caliber, EPEC Golf and Police Security Flashlights, Southern Proper and pro bono clients Beats The Streets and Global Paint for Charity.

After creating a long term branding strategy and style guide in 2016, Barber Warren was then engaged by Crown & Caliber to create a brand awareness campaign. The agency immediately knew they had to create work that stood out from other watch campaigns, which were mostly pedestrian.

“We had access to research by Crown & Caliber as well as secondary research and found that there was a huge barrier in the watch industry between a consumer wanting to buy a luxury watch and actually ordering it. And that barrier was trust,” Warren told Reel360. “Consumers couldn’t differentiate between industry standards and brand jargon. That led to confusion on their part and mistakes. We felt we could tap into this confusion in an engaging way and endear consumers to C&C.”


Apparently it was not love at first sight for the brand according to Roam online. The clients felt there didn’t seem to be much correlation between a donkey or sloth and a high-end fashion accessory.


However, the animals did begin to grow on the team and finally it was decided to present the top three campaign options to the entire company. They knew it was the right fit when one of the head watchmakers commented, “That animal thing shows who we really are. We’re fun, not pretentious. And that’s the one we outta go for.”


The production process was also somewhat interesting to say the least, Warren explained. “We had two different kinds we found suitable stock… except for the the donkey. And the donkey was also being turned into content and TV spot. So we decided we had to shoot him. I had no idea donkey’s traveled in pairs. Hal Barber said he won’t relax without his buddy in the room. Matter of getting that shot and then we had models clients like our chief marketing officer was donkey. And other friends of friends. Some of the other animals. Everything was mapped out against green screen

The campaign officially launched in January 2018, but began to saturate the market in April 2018 with advertisements on a watch forum site, Pandora and a feature in Men’s Journal. It has actually now picked up steam being featured in a Creative Arts magazine article this past June.

The Reel360 team has not covered Barber Warren, which was recently named one of Atlanta’s top 10 creative agencies to watch, before. But with work like this we expect to have more articles about the agency.

Client: Crown&Caliber
   Chief Marketing Officer: Jason Allen

BarberWarren Advertising
   Partner/Creative Director/Art Director: Hal Barber
   Partner/Creative Director/Copywriter: Bob Warren
   VP/Brand Development: Karyn Scott

   Creative Imaging: Michael Bailey/Steve Purnell

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.