Case Study / G-SHOCK Digital


G-SHOCK was introduced in 1983, which is officially defined as the paleolithic era of technology. Short for "gravitational shock" it rapidly became a cult and a cultural icon based on its gutsy graphics and reputation for durability. Gear Patrol writes that it has a "peculiar aesthetic and is "revered by many as the toughest watch on the planet."

But cult and cultural icons rapidly end up on the scrap heap of memory - have you watched your VHS of "The Breakfast Club" lately? - especially in the watch category, when something called Apple Watch appears on the scene and the tectonic plates of coolness have shifted. G-SHOCK, however, avoided that fate through constant innovation for new generations. Nonetheless, eventually, the brand needed a refresh, and they came to 5W Digital to reignite the passion while democratizing the brand and making it more accessible.

What the Team Found
G-SHOCK's social presence needed a strategic and execution reinvention-they were "posting to post" with no strategy, no best practices, and an absence of video. The brand had become stale, a fatal spiral for a decades-old product that demands freshness and relevance to stay on-trend. G-SHOCK needed a social shock.


The team reviewed G-SHOCK's quantitative consumer research and conducted a sentiment analysis using proprietary tools, mapping that against a trend scan. Based on that work, 5W developed a strategic framework called "Fash and Bash."

The objective was to jolt the storytelling and communication with a strong fashion angle, supported by the durability of the product. In other words, using fashion and lifestyle to create a new heritage and using the legacy toughness to reinforce the primal heritage.

To bring this new heritage story to life, the team embarked upon a high-visibility digital campaign that integrated influencers with leading-edge fashion photography expressed through compelling video. 5W conceived and executed all aspects of the program, going so far as to have members of the team shoot and appear in the videos, delivering a blast of authenticity that captures the passion and talents of the agency.

To reinforce the primal heritage of durability - the Bash - went as far as to drop the watch off at buildings and other tests. These were shot with a contemporary visual aesthetic, maintaining the radical modernity aspect that was central to the brand's reimagining.

The team used this strategic framework to introduce new models, a refreshment stream that is key to the brand's DNA, including collaborations like Wu-Tang, Bodega, Super Mario Bros., and HODINKE x John Mayer to name a few.

  • 18.45% engagement rate.
  • 650k+ total engagements.
  • Broad appeal of a formerly cult brand.


Social media engagements


Engagement rate

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