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Apple's new Watch ads put the spotlight on hands-free use

Spanning the full gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous

Smartwatches are supposed to perform tasks that smartphones find difficult, such as tracking your heart rate or handling mobile payments and navigation instructions for users who already have their hands full. Those are the scenarios that Apple has chosen to illustrate with a new series of Apple Watch promo videos. Smartwatches also have their downsides, however, including notifications that interrupt and distract from whatever else you are doing. Apple attempts to turn that into a positive in its Date ad above, but it just comes across as forced and contrived.

Taken as a set, the six videos are uneven in their execution, but their purpose is what unifies them. They present the potential usefulness of a smartwatch in brief, digestible vignettes that spotlight one feature or another. Given the overlap with Android Wear functionality, it's even arguable that these ads help evangelize the entire smartwatch market to a still-unfamiliar consumer audience. Choosing among them, the Ride video is easily the most beautiful in terms of color and geometry, while the Sprinkle spot highlighting Apple Pay via the Watch is the most relatable.