BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Gives Glowing Review of Apple Watch

Not a Paid Ad, but Potential for Significant Earned Media for Apple

By Published on .

Most Popular

Welcome to the new Apple. The iPhone-maker, traditionally staid in its marketing and public relations, is opening its doors wider to promote its new Watch, investing in digital marketing and inviting the production arm of BuzzFeed in for a glimpse.

In BuzzFeed's video, released on Tuesday, two young women try on the new gadget at Apple's event on Monday. They are unfailingly positive. "So, already this feels amazing," one product tester begins. "I need to get that black and gold," she adds. Apple's Edition model of the connected wristwatch starts at $10,000.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company did not pay BuzzFeed Motion Pictures for the video. It did invite the digital product team to the event along with other media outlets.

Still, the video is a departure for Apple and marks BuzzFeed's ascendancy in the ranks of influential press. Under CEO Steve Jobs and his tenacious PR chief Katie Cotton, who retired in May, the Cupertino company was extremely discriminating about its press relations, working primarily with established tech reporters and publications. To tout its newest device, Apple appears to be opening up and expanding its marketing repertoire. The company, through its App Store account, was active on Twitter during Monday's event.

Los Angeles-based BuzzFeed Motion Pictures is the website's digital-video arm behind both a recent interview with President Obama and "Sad Cat Diary," which has racked up nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

Although BuzzFeed Motion Pictures was established in 2012, the department's staff has grown -- along with its prominence at the company -- since last August, when the website received a $50 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz and earmarked a portion of the cash to bolster its video efforts. The department is led by Ze Frank, who also helps produce videos for advertisers, such as "Dear Kitten," a piece of branded content for Friskies that has more than 20 million YouTube views.

Contributing: Michael Sebastian