Apple’s New iPhone Ad Stars A Bunch Of Health Gadgets That Are Not An iWatch

Somewhere in my basement I have a Presidential Fitness Award signed by George H.W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think I had to do 50 pushups or something to qualify — it’s a good thing that I took the test before smartphones existed, because that really put a crimp in my overall fitness state.

But, as they’re essentially sensor packages with computers attached, smartphones have become a fairly versatile fitness tool over the past couple of years. The health sections of the Google Play store and App Store are exploding with options.

As a response to the demand, Apple stepped up to the plate on Monday with its Health app and Healthkit framework to try to standardize and simplify the collection and display of data. And, eventually to help health professionals tap into that data to interpret it.

Today, Apple is ramping up the health-related marketing in earnest with a new iPhone ad that begins airing during the Stanley Cup. The ad features a bunch of fitness apps and gadgets, backed by a song called “Chicken Fat” by actor Robert Preston, which was originally composed for a Presidential Fitness program under President Kennedy — a tad before my time.

The spot features people in various states of fitness using the iPhone and assorted gadgetry to motivate, track and train.

A Bloomberg piece tonight notes that Apple has been shifting its advertising to internal teams for some iPad spots, but the iPhone ads are still coming out of TWBA\Chiat\Day

I spotted the Misfit Shine right at the top of the ad, and there’s a Withings scale, a Zepp Golf sensor and a Wahoo bike sensor in there too. A bunch of apps make an appearance including the companions to the accessories, Nike+ Running, Strong Lifts and Argus — recognizable by its unique honeycomb design.

The timing is far from coincidental, with the health news as a large component of the ‘what’s new’ in iOS 8 segment of the keynote. Notably, Apple made no announcements about any smart hardware of its own, like the rumored ‘iWatch’. But it’s still happy to highlight hardware and software that runs on the iPhone now — most of which will undoubtedly be updated over the summer to feed data into the Health app.

The ad starts airing this evening, we’ll embed it once it shows up online.

Still, no matter how catchy Chicken Fat is, my favorite actor shilling for Presidential Fitness will always be the Austrian Oak.