A closer look at Google’s creative approach to advertising the Pixel 3

This week, Google unveiled their new line of hardware products. The Pixel 3, Home Hub, and Pixel Slate are all coming this fall. Although it was all about the products during their #madebyGoogle conference, what really stood out were two ads for the Pixel 3 phone.

One targeted those moments most have found themselves in – taking photo after photo, looking to get that perfect shot. The second tapped into a similar scenario – the impossible task of getting everyone in the frame for a selfie shot.  Hardware aside, what was so smart about these ads was how simple they were. Creative for both spots were done by Droga5, the agency responsible for Google Pixel’s messaging since 2016. The two released Tuesday look especially groomed for broadcast:

The first 60-second spot “Top Shot” features Frank Sinatra’s “Let Me Try Again” and speaks to the countless times we’ve all had where everyone was not ready for the photo. Closed eyes, awkward facial expressions, an unexpected photobomber, the list goes on. The ad featured a series of these mishaps with the backdrop of ridiculousness then provided the solution with the feature known as Top Shot. Without getting too technical, the phone’s camera takes multiple shots and then suggests the best one, reducing those embarrassing photo moments.

Google’s second ad “Group Selfie Cam” is essentially the same except it presents the struggles of perfecting the selfie. This was remedied via a special zoom function. How Google appealed to these shared emotions was a stroke of genius and deserves some recognition.

“These ads don’t require any real mental work on the part of the consumer… the emotional connection is immediate, and the reaction is palatable.”

This line of marketing has been used for ages though. Appealing to shared pain and offering a solution is the best way to remain in the back of consumers’ minds. Mainly because it’s easier to recall emotions linked to an inconvenient experience than a product name. Once a solution is presented to that pain-point, then the product’s name becomes associated with it.

Ultimately, brands want people to think about those annoying scenarios with them in mind as the solution. The most successful variants of this are ones like these Google ads where they’re very believable and relatable. These ads don’t require any real mental work on the part of the consumer to get what’s going on. The emotional connection is immediate, and the reaction is palatable.

Has Google succeeded in this goal? In terms of their new phone, that remains to be seen. Although, judging from social media and YouTube reactions to this campaign, people are recalling those photo blunder woes and approve of Google’s painting of that embarrassing picture.