Chinese model Liu Wen may be the face of Apple Watch’s launch campaign

“Chinese model Liu Wen has shared a picture on social media that suggests she might be the face of the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch,” Linda Sharkey reports for The Independent.

“With Apple seemingly courting the power of the fashion world with industry figures, designers and retailers seemingly on board it seems only natural that the brand would enlist a fashion name to advertise the new gadget,” Sharkey reports. “o could Liu Wen be the new face of Apple’s ‘fashion’ item?”

Sharkey reports, “The 26-year-old model shared a photo on her Instagram account of herself trying on the watch, accompanied with a caption that reads: ‘My second meeting with the Apple Watch, this time in Colette! The first time? Well, you’ll see soon.'”

Full article here.

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Extensive Apple Watch hands on reveals iPhone downloads, manages Watch apps – September 30, 2014
Five things we learned about Apple Watch at Paris Fashion Week – September 30, 2014
Apple’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson show off Apple Watch at Colette event in Paris – September 30, 2014
Apple’s design team headed to Paris Fashion Week, likely for Apple Watch event – September 29, 2014
Can Apple disrupt the luxury watch industry with a $10,000 Apple Watch? – September 17, 2014
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Apple iWatch designer Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014

39 Comments

    1. To avoid going down a rabbit trail, I suggest that everyone skip down 35 or so posts to alanaudio, who points out that this isn’t a celebrity endorsement. Liu Wen was apparently hired as a model, possibly one of many, to pose wearing the watch for images that will be used in advertising. Did anyone doubt that somebody would be wearing them in the ads?

    1. Apple certainly has used celebrity endorsements for their products, or maybe it’s the other way around. At any rate:

      – The iPad was already a hit by the time Oprah went on her self-titled talk show and said the Apple iPad was her favorite thing ever.

      – A few years ago, Apple got together with U2 for a special edition of the iPod.

      – An iPhone 4S TV commercial featured Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel. Other ads to promote Siri featured Martin Scorsese and John Malkovich.

      – Justin Long in the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials, although maybe the commercials made him a celebrity.

      – Not to mention the Beats deal.

      They don’t use them often but they do use them.

      1. I concede on the 4S series, while IMHO the other examples are marginal at best. I think my sense that Apple appears to now be approaching the use of very common marketing methods is troubling might just, for the first time, lessen my respect for the firm itself, as I have always eschewed products marketed by celebrities and firms that employ such techniques.

        1. I’d suggest you not pin such a potentially important decision on one particular detail, but on the overall picture. OS, apps, reliability, build quality and a few other factors just might be more important.

          But if you want to buy some obscure Androcrap phone because Apple uses a model – well, good luck to you.

        2. The Apple Watch is being marketed as a fashion accessory. Therefore, it makes sense to involve the fashion world – designers and models – in the marketing of this product. If your sense of propriety is offended, opsono, then I apologize on behalf of Apple.

          1. Right, KingMel—I thought it was well understood that Apple has “gone fashionista” in a big way, not even trying to disguise their enrapturement with haute couture as they essay to define what is now pedestrianly called the “wearables” product space. In a year’s time I expect MDN to feature more articles from Glamour, Vanity Fair, and the like; and fewer from bench-testers.

          2. A rational view, this is Apple expanding into a different area because its own area is now pretty much chic a bloc for the seeable future. Like it or not in the area of the watch electronic device or not, fashion and cachet is far more important and without it it is highly unlikely that the Apple watch will make the impact it desires. After all all those people on here keep telling us they don’t need a new piece of gadgetry to add to their stock especially for some time to come it is going to be less overtly useful than their phone.
            As long as Apple do this in a calm sophisticated manner then even though any amount of ‘fashion’ glitz turns me off too be honest, I can accept and understand the necessity of what they are doing. Just don’t lose the core of what the company is all about please or try to substitute their version of the appalling D&G et al.

        3. Well anyone who concedes a point without tossing derogatory names around gets a big thumbs up in my books. I thank you for the feedback and even though there was a concession I had to look it up.

          I’ve mused a bit on what you said “common marketing methods” and that may be true, but your comments about celebrities has also tapped into a different style of marketing, and that is product placement.

          I remember sitcoms that would put a Mac computer in them because it was so well sitcomish I guess. The one that comes to mind is Seinfeld, it was an ever changing prop in that show, always the latest model, or so I recall.

          That goes beyond common marketing methods, and no doubt we’ll see the watch get some of that attention. It will be a thing to show off and display on TV, beyond commercials. That will be a real kicker. Taking it that way, the iPhone has done very well in that respect. It’s a different marketing.

          I’m kind of lukewarm on celebrity endorsements as well, unless they are true endorsements, sincere if you know what I mean. I think they can do well as part of an overall marketing plan, kind of like an ingredient in an overall tasty dish.

          Thanks again, enjoy the weekend.

        4. The Asian market is a VERY different beast. Celebrity endorsements are common there and OFTEN seen in commercials, which are more of an art form there anyhow. The opposite is true here, where commercials are low-brow two-bit actors, while feature film actors rarely do blatant commercials.

      2. I’m not sure we’re using the term “celebrity endorsement” correctly here. What it normally means is when a celebrity (an actor, professional athlete, supermodel, talk show host) privately endorses a specific product in public. In other words, when Leonardo DiCaprio tells reporters, talk show hosts, and whoever wants to listen, that he is a big fan of a certain products and uses it all the time. The endorsement doesn’t have to be verbal; athletes endorse products by simply wearing them during their matches / games.

        In that sense, Oprah and U2 were indeed celebrity endorsements.

        However, Zoey Dechanel, Samuel Jackson and others in that series were not. They were hired to perform in a scripted television commercial as actors. They may or may not be users of the advertised product in private, but in these commercial, they were playing a character (based on their own person), which is using iPhone 4S. There is a major difference, and audience knows it: in these scripted commercials, nobody automatically assumes that the real Martin Scorsese John Malkovich, etc, are users of the iPhone. They know they’re watching a commercial. Same with Justin Long.

        Now, the U2 participation was most likely a paid endorsement, and was blessed (if not even initiated) by Steve. As for Oprah’s singing praise, I’m not so sure if she didn’t want to do this on her own, and perhaps reached out to Apple to find out if she could squeeze them for little money. A few years later, she switched to Kindle, by the way, dedicating a big part of one show to singing its praises…

      1. She’s a gorgeous woman, I have no idea how future ad campaigns will look. To me, they should be artistic rather than shallow or mean and idiotic- like those of Apple’s competitors. Particularly Samsung- how do they sleep?

      1. Is it the Microsoft and Samsung products that make you think the people in their commercials are pretty ugly? Or do they pick ugly people because they know that’s their demographic?

  1. I’ve always said Apple should do more marketing.
    (Last year Apple spent a billion plus and Samsung 14 billion. Msft spent near half Apple’s entire ad budget on the NFL deal alone)

    Yet I’m wary of celeb endorsements.
    see how horrible they turned out with Samsung with celebs tweeting etc from iPhones…

    If Apple has a celeb be sure the paid trolls will dig out photos of the celebs home with Samsung etc appliances in the background or the Celeb getting drunk, cheating on his/her spouse, hitting her kid etc and blast them on Youtube (owned by Google who will put it on search rank No. 1) . Celebs are uncontrollable.

    1. anybody explain why the one stars?

      what is wrong with my reasoning?
      are you one star people SURE this model doesn’t use Samsung stuff all over her house? which might be in the background of the photos in her Chinese social network site?

      1. It isn’t like Apple to timidly tiptoe around the tulips. They’ll use more celebrity endorsements going forward because that’s how the game is played. Scandals are dime-a-dozen disposable in that world. And I wouldn’t worry about Kobe Bryant tweeting admiration for Apple Watch from his Galaxy Gear, or trolls reviving his hotel improprieties. Chillax.

        1. but why risk it?

          I was advertising.

          People remember what happened to Tiger Woods and his endorsements when his marital infidelities occurred?

          WSJ:
          “The revelations about Mr. Woods’ personal life have created a public-relations nightmare for the companies that paid millions of dollars to hitch their brands to Mr. Woods. The golfer earned roughly $90 million a year from his endorsement pacts.”

          CBS:

          “Tiger Woods’ sponsors were in disarray last week as they scrambled to gauge just how damaging — ….. AT&T, Accenture and Gillette all canceled Woods’ image from their advertising. They join Tag Heuer and Pepsico who acted last week to yank ads. Woods hasn’t been seen in any TV ad since the scandal surfaced.”

          USNews (on BOYCOTT of Tiger Woods endorsed products)

          ” PR professionals found a move to ignore Woods’s video games, shirts, hats, and other endorsed items when Christmas shopping. ….. A lobbyist said he won’t be making planned purchases of TW logo clothing.”

          Tiger Woods is of course much more famous than the chinese model but I used him as it’s easy to quote examples.
          Celeb problems are common so like i said why risk it?

          For Apple the risks are way HIGHER as the hate for apple and the money involved , hundreds of billions (apple makes 30 b average a quarter) , is so much larger than any other company . The crazy hate level can be seen by Bendgate.

          To me Apple just needs to focus on the products and the advantages.

          (i realize the above article is just a rumour but I’m giving a theoretical example).

          1. If she is being hired, she is being hired because she is a model – even if a famous one. Nobody thinks for a second that she uses the Apple Watch – or cares whether she does or not.

            Putting a watch (or clothes, or car, or …..) on a model is quite a different proposition that paying an extremely famous person a boatload of money to use, or appear to use, your product.

            1. you could be right

              but then again if ‘being the face of’ might mean more than a model walking around the runway with a watch or doing some ads. (But i admit the article is vague and rumours. )

              Still think about it : during the academy awards sponsored by Samsung when the presenter Ellen de Generes used an iPhone during the break to take selfies and post them the press (and apple fans) had a field day making fun of it —- although it seems the job only called for de Generes to use the Samsung during the presentation itself . Is the true if paraphrasing you : ” Nobody thinks for a second that she uses a Samsung (personally) – or cares whether she does or not.” It seems like to lots of people did and it was black eye to samsung. It was on CBS news etc.

              Think about it: if she’s the ‘face of’ the apple watch and then the trolls run dozens of pictures of her using all kinds of samsung stuff -maybe even before her apple stint – is it good or bad (remember bend gate) for apple, is it worth the risk when there are so many other avenues to advertise it ? Of course if she’s just a model like in the current apple ads — you know those actors running or jogging , no big deal , so it depends on the extent of the role.

              Please note also I had a disclaimer in my post , I said “Tiger Woods is of course much more famous than the chinese model but I used him as it’s easy to quote examples” so I realize a model is quite different from a model. But the reactions to apple (bend gate) is also disproportionate to normality.

              actually I think I’m getting to much into this ‘rumour’ thing.
              My profession was advertising and P.R so I’m into it to much I guess.
              so lets all apple fans forget this thread, it’s not worth arguing over.

            2. this got cut off from my post:

              @john smith
              you said “Putting a watch (or clothes, or car, or …..) on a model is quite a different proposition that paying an extremely famous person”

              I used tiger Woods also because hannajhs mentioned Kobe Bryant.
              —–
              (btw most of the time I actually enjoy reading hannahjs posts so I like I said didn’t really want to get into a thing here as we’re all apple fans)

    2. I’ve always gathered Apple believes the product should basically sell itself or from word of mouth. They’re probably right but I’d also like to see them do more marketing just to prove they can hang with the big boys, and not because they necessarily need to. I’d like to see Apple do a marketing blitz around the back to school month and during the Christmas holiday season.

  2. So, what initially concerned me about the whole watch thing was would Apple get the whole watch ethos. The ‘watch thing’, as it were.

    Clearly they’ve gone to school on the whole ‘watch thing’. Like an iPhone needing to be a phone that does loads of other stuff, the watch needed to be a watch that did loads of other cool stuff. But at the root, it’s a watch.

    And a watch IS a piece of jewelry. It is a fashion item. I don’t wear man jewelry other than my wedding ring and a watch. I like me a snappy watch. I have a few really snappy versions. But, being one of those who wears his watch all the time save for showering, it dawned on me I was being too cavalier with some really fine watches. So, I wear a Mougin & Piquard from J. Crew. $595, looks totally snappy, has a few ‘complications’ and takes a beating without much worry.

    That Apple would consider using fashion models in future advertising makes total sense in that it appears they understand the fashion aspect of the ‘watch thing’. Which ought to send further shivers down the spine of the rest of the watch industry. ‘Cause, if I can get a watch that really looks cool, that tells time really well, can put up with some abuse and does a load of other cool stuff while it’s at it… Oh my.

    This becomes a total no brainer. As MDN frequently says, just let me know when and where – I’m poised with card in hand for the millisecond I can order one (or two…).

  3. the perfect cast for the apple watch is

    Jennifer Lawrence,
    being in her house waking up, taking a shower,
    taking a few photos, taking a run outside for 10 minutes, taking a shower again, taking more photos (also nudeselfies = Nelfies?), dressed up with a straight Latte ready for the job when her watch begins to talk to her 😛

    ..

    1. Aren’t you clever by one half? You’re proud of dissing Apple for something they are not responsible for, huh?
      You are just a run of the mill (not clever) Apple hater and cannot stand that Apple has such a loyal following.
      Go away and go back under the rock where you came from!!

  4. People are reading rather a lot into an ambiguously worded comment. Unless she is lying, she has clearly been involved in some capacity, but we don’t know how significant that role really might be.

    However, Apple Watch is a wearable device, so it’s going to make sense to see somebody wearing it in adverts. It remains to be seen whether one person will be the only one featured in Apple’s adverts, or whether multiple people will be portrayed wearing them. My guess is that multiple people would be shown wearing them.

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