Has Apple's 'creepy' new Apple Watch ad backfired?

Apple Watch
(Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to advertising, Apple usually knows what it's doing. The company's ads and keynote events always rack up millions of views online (and of course, by extension, millions of sales). But a trippy new Apple Watch ad has left us, and the internet, a little perturbed.

The ad features all the polish and slick editing we've come to expect from Apple, but with a decidedly surreal edge. From melting beds to a bizarrely slow voice-over, this ad highlighting the Apple Watch's sleep tracking abilities genuinely feels like it's trying to hypnotise the viewer. (You'll find no such underhand tactics on our Apple Watch deals page.)

The 'Sleep' ad (above) opens with a woman announcing (very, very slowly): "the Sleep app helps me establish a bedtime routine," before melting (along with her iPhone and cat) into her bed. Said woman and cat then float through what can only be described as a celestial sand dune made of pillows. Pretty standard stuff, then.

We have some, erm, questions. Why does the woman sound like she's been tranquillised? Where's the ethereal choir coming from? Did the cat really sign up for the trip too? Perhaps the strangest thing about the ad is Apple's attempt to combine psychedelia with its signature polish – the whole thing ends up feeling a little too clean and dystopian for our liking, rather than weird and wonderful. And it seems Twitter agrees:

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The Sleep ad is accompanied by two slightly less creepy offerings, advertising the Watch's ECG and Workout capabilities. The latter (below) features a woman tracking her laps while swimming with whales in the sea. And while the woman's robotic 'underwater' voice isn't quite as bizarre as the sleepy lady's overly dulcet tones, it's still a little, well, creepy. (And who tracks laps in open water?)

It's not often that Apple's ads leave us baffled, but hey – these are strange times. We can't help but feel that the company's attempts to portray a sense of calm has somewhat backfired, resulting in a weirdly sinister tone. Thankfully, there's nothing creepy about the Apple Watch itself. Indeed, Apple's is arguably one of the most useful wearables on the market – check out today's best Apple Watch deals below, and head to our Apple deals page for more great offers. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).