April 5, 2019

The 25-Hour Day

The 25-Hour Day

Like many CEOs, I could use an extra hour in the day, especially during our busy season, and with the various upcoming April deadlines we face right around the corner, I’m sure most of our associates feel the same way.

So I perked up when I saw that Timex (not that I’m a big Timex fan myself) is offering a new, limited-edition 25-hour watch. As the ad put it, “This started way back with Leonardo da Vinci. The 25th hour was right there. Staring us in the face. For centuries.” The watch in Timex’s ads actually tells time in two systems – one in the wishful-thinking 25-hour day and another in the 24 hours we actually have.

It turned out to be an April Fool’s Day prank, but I have to hand it to Timex. It was a great marketing stunt, and it generated a lot of buzz, making it onto Time magazine’s Best April Fool’s Day Pranks of 2019.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Timex, that is before I discovered Rolex, Patek, Breitling (do I need to go on?). Back in the old days, before the internet took over our lives, many of us grew up with the watch that “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” It’s good to see that a brand from the analog era is still ticking, too, and coming up with innovative advertising ideas.

It’s fun to consider the possibilities of a 25-hour day. Think of what a watch like this would do for work-life balance. Busy professionals could spend the extra time with their families or on their interests outside of work. Volunteers would be able to give more time to their favorite charities. With the weather getting nicer outside and many people kicking their fitness routines up a notch, it would be a lot harder to make excuses for skipping a run or trip to the gym on a busy workday. And parents of young children and other chronically sleep-deprived people would no doubt welcome that extra hour of shut-eye.

Of course, there would be some downsides, too. During our busy season, Marcum accountants might be inclined to spend the extra hour at the office, burning themselves out instead of calling it a day when they should. Some companies might try switching to a nine-hour workday, leading to a lot of pushback by hourly employees and labor watchdogs, and wreaking havoc on payroll systems. Schools would have to change their schedules. And don’t even think about airlines, trains and buses (how many more scheduling snafus can the traveling public take?). Helicopter parents would be able to squeeze more activities into their kids’ schedules.

Fortunately until someone really discovers an extra hour, we’ll have to make do with the time we have – and keep working smarter, not harder, to find that extra hour.

Next week has me traveling to Toronto Monday-Wednesday with our chief marketing officer Bruce Ditman. We’ll be there filming the next four commercials in our ASK Marcum campaign, which will start airing again in May. Well, we won’t actually be doing the filming, but I guess you understood that to begin with. It’s always exciting to see months of creative concepts come together on set.