I.W. Marks and Ellen DeGeneres

I.W. Marks gives watch, gets publicity.(Watch)(Brief Article)

HOUSTON — Before heading to work one day in March, I.W. Marks, president of I.W. Marks Jewelers, watched part of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and saw a golden publicity opportunity. DeGeneres mentioned on the nationally syndicated talk show that someone had sent her a gift, but what she really wanted was a Rolex Submariner. So Marks sent her one overnight.

DeGeneres thanked Marks for the watch in the opening segment of her show. Within hours of the mention, the store received dozens of calls from potential and existing customers.

“We’ve gotten numerous phone calls and e-mails,” says Marks’ son, Bradley, who is vice president of the store. “We’ve even had people come in and say, ‘I want the Submariner that Ellen has.’”

And the publicity-fest may not be over yet. After receiving the Submariner, DeGeneres told her viewers that she really would like to have the hard-to-come-by Rolex Daytona stainless steel chronograph.

In response, Marks quickly sent DeGeneres a letter saying the Daytona was hers–if she came to Houston, did her show there and accepted the watch from him in person. She declined. But Marks sent the watch anyway in the hopes of furthering his relationship with DeGeneres and the show.

“We did it just to build that relationship with her. It’s not every day that you have a local independent store getting national publicity,” Bradley says.

I.W. Marks Jewelers is a NATIONAL JEWELER eight-figure independent store known for its involvement in the Houston community. Marks sponsors various programs and events, including the Houston Grand Opera, the Texas Miss U.S.A. Pageant, the Society for the Performing Arts and Rice University football and basketball.

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