Most of us think of slick music, crisp editing, and fun visuals when we think of Apple’s famous ad films. This time around, things are a little different.

In a new ‘911’ video, the Californian tech giant highlighted tense moments experienced by Apple Watch owners, as they managed to survive near-death experiences – using the help of the nifty wearable device.

You won’t find any background dancers and cheerful tunes here. The 1-minute ad focuses on the Apple Watch’s ability to make emergency calls – telling its story through real-life audio recordings of a driver stuck in a sinking car, a paddle-boarder who’s drifted out to sea, and a farmer who shattered his leg from an unexpected fall.

All of these are set to dark, suspenseful aerial shots of where the users experienced their harrowing situations.

How Does It Work?

Apple Watch Series 7

With an Apple Watch, users can make emergency calls by using an ‘SOS’ shortcut feature. You can enable this by pressing and holding the watch’s side button, which activates an Emergency SOS slider on the touchscreen.

You can either drag the slider to call immediately, or keep the button held to automatically reach emergency responders.

Apple aimed to lead with safety and health features such as these for their new Series 7 Apple Watch launch. Apart from emergency calls, it’s also capable of tracking irregular heart rhythms as well as sudden falls that might leave you immobile.

As we mentioned, the Watch ad is a stark departure from the company’s lighthearted past campaigns – this change brought about a fair bit of controversy as well.

A fair number of voices called the ad exploitative. Whether it was capturing a terrifying personal moment for an ad campaign or attaching the idea of personal safety to a $500 watch, people vocalized their uneasiness about the film on Twitter:

Others backed up what they called ‘Don Draper’ level advertising – praising the ad’s tense tone and even backing up its message with personal anecdotes:

It’s certainly an interesting question for fans of the megacorporation to ponder – ‘Was the ad exploitative or not?’ With real-life stories behind the concept, perhaps it isn’t so bad – there’s more than a few ads out there that use fictionalized content to tug at customers’ hearts and wallets.

That said, Apple’s legendary ad team has just figured out how to sell a watch – and convince you that it’ll save your life. Steve Jobs would have been proud.

(Image Sources: Apple Inc.)