Apple. The king of creating things that we really (, really, really) want.

This is a breakdown of a 3-minute film that Apple created to promote the Apple Watch Series 4 in Q4 2018.

To me, it’s an outstanding example of giving the viewer the “here’s how it works” features and benefits and making you not just want it but feel like you need it. It’s not just a watch or a new version of what they’d done before. They want you to believe that this is groundbreakingly new.



Breakdown of the Apple Watch Series 4 – 3D Animated Video / Film


Scene 1 – Cold open


Jony Ive, the design mastermind behind Apple, opens the film. He establishes authority and credibility.

Beautiful hero shot tease


I love the embellishment of the graphics here. Subtly bringing a little more life to the 2D Watch interface.

First transition


Was a fire explosion on screen necessary? I don’t know. Watch and find out!

Feature breakdown – Digital Crown


You had me at exploded view. I mean, how do you make a crown of a watch sexy? Break it apart and show how intricate and thoughtful the design is of course.

Here’s how it works – Major Feature – ECG – Transition


In the run up to this scene, Apple had been giving the viewer information on the Electrocardiogram (heartbeat) features of the watch. Then, they take you inside the watch. This gives you a glimpse of “how the sausage is made,” a look inside the device, something that the naked eye would never see.

This is something that 3D video is perfect for — showing viewers what most humans would never be able to see.

And they follow it with a masterful transition. See all those little dots? They transform into …

The heart beat of the film


Those dots morph into a visualization of a freakin heart beating. Dammit Apple.

Personally, this is my favorite scene, the transition into it and out it are downright beautiful. And the awesome thing about it is that you don’t even notice it. It’s beautiful without making you say, “wow, that’s beautiful.”

Then, they transition out of that shot seamlessly into making those dots into the visualization of the rhythm.

Mixed Media – And here’s what it’s like in real life!


After the heartbeat, they take you into real life feature stories.

You can run with it.

Swim with it. (Oh, it’s waterproof)

Feature highlight – Always Connected (untethered from your phone)


You can have it completely untethered from your phone. And that’s also handy for …

Emergency Services


This is an interesting scene. A guy in a super remote location needs to contact emergency services directly from his watch. It’s a psychological moment. It’s at the end for a reason. It’s all of a sudden not a want, but a subconscious need. Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. It’s gone from a superficial thing to a primal need for survival. And it’s a powerful moment.

Start to close


This is the final hero shot. Showing the watch in all its glory.

To sum it up …

Apple uses a lot of the story and feature/benefit techniques that we are preaching about.

  • Use a 3D animated video to show what cannot be seen
  • Show and tell about features and benefits
  • Try to tap into someone’s lizard brain when you can

View the video on YouTube: