04.13.2015

Are You (Apple) Watching the Ads?

On September 9, 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch, a wrist-worn computer capable of notifications, health and activity tracking, and messaging.

Since that date, speculation on the watch, what it does, preview reviews, and how it will fit into our everyday lives have permeated the media, causing a frenzy of thought pieces and articles on the watch. The earned media value that the Apple Watch has procured for Apple has, by some estimates, reached $32.2 million.

The watch is now available for pre-order, and will hit stores on April 24, but ads for the Apple Watch have been airing on TV since early March.

CBS News, in fact, estimates that Apple has spent $38 million on US television advertising since March. Interestingly, according to Fortune Magazine online, “out of the 300-plus airings of the Apple Watch commercial since March, almost half have been in primetime spots tied to shows such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the NCAA tournament, and NBC’s “The Voice.””

CBS News goes on to say that this massive spend to promote the Apple Watch is just a drop in the bucket for Apple, whose 2014 fiscal year advertising budget was $1.2 billion, which is still a small sum compared to Apple’s yearly revenue, which comes in at just about $182.8 billion.

As Apple, a company known for computers, phones, tablets, and music players, enters a new product category, what is the thinking behind all of this spending? Boy Genius Report, a well-known tech blog, sums it up best: “The big takeaway here is that Apple is leaving nothing to chance and is sparing no cost in ensuring that the public is well aware of the Apple Watch’s impending launch. Especially because the Apple Watch represents an entirely new product category, Apple’s advertising efforts will be instrumental in getting the masses interested in and excited for the company’s upcoming wearable.”

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