Marketing smart watches by pretending they are something else

Tag Heuer took on quite a challenge with the new Connected smart watch, but at no point did the company stray from a marketing strategy which has been present in the watch industry for decades.

When it comes to watch marketing, imagery is all important. There are many watches for which the specifications will form a large part of the selling process, ranging from budget timepieces to high-end mechanical works of art, but ultimately the photos spark the initial interest of the buyer. That has always been the case and it always will.

Take a look at the Tag Heuer Connected image below. Notice how it looks like a high-end mechanical watch and how there is no sense that it is in fact a screen rather than a dial.

Now, the image below shows what the screen actually looks like in the real world without special filters to reduce the screen effect.

There is no doubt in my mind which looks best and I find it strange that the marketing is trying very, very hard to make it look like a real watch. Not one of the images on the official site shows the Connected watch as it really is which is somewhat perplexing.

Then again, this is far from unusual and is demonstrated in the images below-

It may be subtle in some cases, but time and time again I see smart watches marketed as though the screen is not actually a screen. The problem is that they are using screens which never look like a real watch no matter how intricate some of the watch faces are. 

I’m not sure that I can think of another technology category that advertises itself so blatantly as trying to be something else, something that it is not and I’m not sure that this is a good move at all.

As it happens, the Apple Watch is marketed to look exactly as it does in the real world and despite not being a fan of that particular device or the design, some credit should be given to Apple for not trying to pretend that it is something it is not.

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