In the past few years, smartwatches have finally starting making a dent in the market. From the original Pebble now down to the Apple Watch, there are many options to choose from and consumers are finally starting to jump on board. However before the launch of the Apple Watch, many didn’t even know smartwatches existed. It’s obvious that Apple is going to do well with their first smartwatch, but how are other platforms doing? How can they make a dent in the market?
In this piece we’ll focus specifically on Android Wear. Google’s smartwatch platform launched in mid-2014 to high praise from many. Since then, it’s been highly improved bring lots of needed functionality. However it’s still not selling. Since it’s launched, the Apple Watch has surpassed Android Wear’s combined sales of the previous year. So why the difference? There are two reasons. First of all, Apple has a cult following. There’s no denying that. Second, it’s because of advertising.
When making a video or picture advertisement, there are many important things. Primarily, you need to grab the users attention, then work on keeping it. While both Google and Apple are good at that, here’s the real key. Google really stinks at transmitting their message.
Take a look at these two ads. The first from Apple, the second from Google.
So what’s the difference between the two? Well first let’s get the similarities out of the way. In both ads the user’s attention is grabbed right away. In Apple’s it’s because of the beautiful scenery. In Google’s it’s because of the music and dancers. However that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
In Apple’s ad the Apple Watch is the star of the show. In every shot you can clearly see it and it’s not at all hard to realize what this is an advertisement for. In Google’s ad, the watches are certainly present and not hard to find, but as the ad goes on the watches get lost in a sea of movement.
In Apple’s ad, we see people using the watch in all different settings. On a boat, in the morning routine, on a walk, etc. In Google’s ad, it’s just a collection of users dancing and making weird circles around their watches. This ties in to my next point.
In Apple’s ad, we see each user preforming different tasks on the watch. From changing the face to receiving an alarm to getting a text message. The ad shows users the capabilities of the watch in a clear way. In fact, Apple goes even further here by showing some of the more advanced functions like activating WiFi lights from a distance (elderly minds blown). In Google’s ad, the only thing highlighted about the watches is that there are different styles, options, and watchfaces. That’s it. It never shows anyone getting a notification or receiving a phone call or anything that would want to make someone want to buy the device.
When it comes down to it, there’s one main reason the Apple Watch will succeed, Apple knows how to make consumers think that they need it. Showing off the functionality is exactly how you do that. If Google doesn’t start doing the same thing, Android Wear is going to be in trouble. The OS itself is safe, but few OEMs are going to want to continue making watches that won’t sell. Whether the change comes from Google or one of their hardware partners, it has to come soon. If I’m going to be brutal here, Google just needs to get rid of their advertising division and start from scratch. While myself and many other people like me understand and love these ads, they are doing nothing to sway potential buyers.