The Apple Watch Is Out, and So Are Many Others. How Do the Ads Compare?

Does the Marketing Serve, or Stifle, Promotion of the Product?

By Published on .

Going by the gorgeous advertising, it's hard to dispute that Apple's new smartwatch has some tremendously compelling features and impeccable design. But Apple Watch is far from the first entry in the budding category, and the others have ads too. How does smartwatch advertising stack up, circa March 2015?

In case you missed it amid a torrent of tech-media live streams during Apple's big Watch intro this week, here's the first spot for its wearable. Like many Apple ads before it, the spot lets the product shine with the help of expert photography, sleek design and smart music choice.

Prior to the TV commercial, we saw an indulgent 12 -full pages of Apple watch porn in the bible of fashion mags, Vogue, placing the timepiece alongside high-end luxury brands and top fashion houses.

Even before these, back in September, we saw this ten minute-plus video exposition of the new watch, featuring Jony Ive, Apple's senior VP for design. (Read Ken Wheaton's cantakerous review of the film here.)

But Apple didn't have all the fun, even this week. Minutes before the Apple Watch press conference began, Google dropped this ad, promoting the (poorly selling) Android Wear.

The ad is a clunky iteration of the "Be Together. Not the Same" tag (more deftly illustrated in the previous, adorable unlikely-friends found-footage ad).

Late last month the Pebble Time garnered plenty of attention when it began a Kickstarter campaign, reaching its goal of $500,000 in less than half an hour. Now, it's become the most funded push on the site to date. As of today, it's exceeded its goal by more than $17.6 million, having raised $18,1454,699 (at press time) with 15 days left to go. Would this film encourage you to put up some cash too?

Also last month, LG leveraged slick effects and a dramatic score to illustrate the melding of "contemporary and classic" in its LG Watch Urbane.

And at the beginning of this month, China's Huawei released a video showing off the thinking behind the design of its smartwatch. "Huawei Watch: The Timeless Design Story" features what feels like forced commentary from well-groomed talking heads and good-looking survey "respondents." At four minutes long, it felt like more of a time suck than Apple's 10-minute demo.

But you can even find smartwatch advertising all the way back in October 2013, when 72andSunny debuted a pair of ads to promote Samsung's Gear, which showcased the wearable as the realization of many pop culture fantasies.

Those ads effectively told us that, thanks to Samsung, the "future is now." A few months later, however, the brand pulled out this cringeworthy, nearly monstrosity -- a painful amalgam of love story, pseudo-extreme sports and product demo.

So it was nice to see Moto highlight the style, craftsmanship and luxury of its timepiece, the way Apple would, but add a humorous twist at the hands of Droga5 (the way Apple never would). Are laughs plus lux enough to lock you in?

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