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Why This Ad Convinced Me To Not Buy the Apple Watch

In addition to launching the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple announced a new Series 3 of the Apple Watch. Since the original Apple Watch was released I’ve been contemplating buying one but have yet to pull the trigger. I’ve been having an internal debate about striking the right balance of being connected all the time and when it’s time to disconnect from distractions. When I saw one of Apple’s ads for the Watch, it solidified my stance that I don’t want the product.

While the ad itself is beautifully shot like all of Apple’s advertising, for me, the one takeaway from the ad is that you’ll never disconnect. And not in a positive way.

It takes everything romantic about surfing – being one with your environment, disconnecting from external distractions to be present in the moment, and respecting the power of the ocean – and makes that beautiful sport superficial, routine, and emotionless.

The ad signs off with “The freedom of cellular”. To me, this ad epitomizes the exact opposite of freedom. It evokes the feeling of being chained to the distractions of technology and the addictive hold that our devices have on us. That feels like anything but freedom to me.

Apple has a pretty great batting average with their advertising so it is easy to jump on what I believe is one of their rare misses. But with Apple’s role as a corporate giant helping feed our unhealthy obsession with our devices, this ad feels really out of touch with how being connected all of the time can improve our lives.

In searching for deeper meaning to the ad or seeing if I was missing something I did a quick search of the incoming caller in the ad, which appears to be someone on the Apple design team. It’s a small detail that ultimately has no impact on its effectiveness, but for the purposes of this blog post, it makes me feel like that’s a call from the office.

Apple will continue to come out with great advertising that will make us all want their products. But for now: