Apple Watch May Be the Future, but Its First TV Ad Borrows From the Past

Familiar tactics from the playbook

For a product Apple hopes will be revolutionary, the first TV commercial for the Apple Watch, unveiled today, had an instantly recognizable style. And no wonder—it's a style that's gained no small measure of equity since the advent of the iPhone in 2007. And the ads continue to look and sound great.

The formula is simple: Device against white background, turning in space to show the physical design, cycling through apps on screen to show functionality, all set to an energetic, catchy tune—in this case, the Holychild track "Running Behind." (It's like doing a super-fancy product demo, and understandably so—products that haven't existed before need fairly basic marketing to explain them.)

This spot gets to do a few more things—show off the bands as jewelry, for example. And it's quite clever that, thanks to some handclaps, the device gets a round of applause right out of the gate. "The watch is coming," says the copy at the end, quickly dissing all rivals.

But otherwise it's business as usual, if gorgeously so.