How smartwatch brands tried to ambush the Apple Watch launch

Smartwatch brands Sony, Google and start-up Pebble all made efforts to interrupt Apple’s biggest announcement to date, with their own brand messages.

During the Apple Watch announcement last night (9 March) the brand attempted to establish its dominance on Twitter. The ‘Spring Forward’ event in San Francisco was organically trending on the social platform but Apple also purchased its space to appear top in the ‘promoted trends’ section of the website, according to AdWeek.

Conversations around the Apple event led to a total of 981, 021 tweets according to Hotwire PR.  However, a few brand messages slipped through the cracks.

Android Wear

Less than an hour before Apple’s event, Google released a new Android Wear ad. Posted on Google + and Twitter, the ad’s tagline read ‘be together. not the same’.

The spot highlights the different shapes that its own smartwatch has to distinguish itself from Apple’s rectangular watch.  While the ad didn’t present any new information about Google’s products, it served its purpose as a timely and contextual ad.

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony Xperia launched a social campaign through Twitter to interrupt Apple’s announcement. The brand attempted to hijack the tag #watch by instead presenting its own products.

One of the tweets quipped that the SmatchWatch 3 is water protected, has a 2-day battery life and, most importantly, consumers can “enjoy it now”. The Apple Watch is not on sale until April 2015.


Pebble launched its range of smartwatches last month, and decided to comment throughout Apple’s conference. The brand’s main tactic seemed to be to question the price of the new Apple device.

In one post, the brand plays on the four figure price tag of some of Apple’s products with the statement “Four figures?!Whoa” –as they juxtapose the comment with an image of its own smartwatches.


This wouldn’t be the first time that brands have released counter-campaigns during an Apple event. In the past Samsung, Micrsoft, LG and Motorola have been known to buy ‘promoted tweets’ during Apple conferences to show up prominently when users discuss new products online.

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