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HUAWEI PR stunt sends people swimming in the Thames waterway for smartwatches

Huawei’s latest PR stunt will send people swimming in London’s Thames waterway for a free Watch GT 2.

Published onOctober 18, 2019

HUAWEI Watch GT 2 X watch face

Companies have had their fair share of weird marketing ploys in the past. But HUAWEI’s latest PR stunt goes further than the average campaign. The China-based manufacturer is handing out its latest wearable, the Watch GT 2, to daring divers willing to take a dip in London’s Thames waterway.

On October 19, from 12-4 PM (7-11 AM ET), a limited number of people can get in line at the world’s first “Dive-Thru” kiosk. HUAWEI has situated the booth in the Royal Victoria Dock, and the company partnered with none other than British Olympian Greg Rutherford MBE to make this come true.


We aren’t exactly sure how many watches are available during the event. HUAWEI says they will be handing out “thousands of pounds worth” of Watch GT 2s. Given the device’s €229 (~$250) price tag, HUAWEI only has to provide nine devices for that to be true.

This PR stunt is a way for HUAWEI to generate publicity and highlight the new watch’s waterproof capabilities simultaneously. The “Dive-Thru” itself is only a couple of meters long, but it’s just long enough for participants to swim to the kiosk attendant to “order” a free device.

Last year, HUAWEI handed out power banks to people as they waited in line for the iPhone XS. As a jab against Apple, HUAWEI included a card with the bank that said: “You’ll need it.”

Related: HUAWEI Watch GT 2: Why I prefer a dumb smartwatch

This year’s campaign breaks free from that mold. Many Android manufacturers such as  Google and Samsung have taken swings at Apple through PR campaigns in the past. No one has given away free smartwatches by diving into murky city water before.

In HUAWEI’s defense, according to the Londonist, the Thames is cleaner than it has been in 150 years. So swimmers shouldn’t be afraid of contracting any unwanted illnesses by participating in HUAWEI’s PR stunt.

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