Google’s “Pixel” Phone Is Here And Its First Ad Is Kind Of Surreal

The company officially announces it’s now competing with Apple and Samsung on a hardware level, too.

Google’s “Pixel” Phone Is Here And Its First Ad Is Kind Of Surreal

WHAT: The first ad for Pixel, Google’s just-announced phone (along with a Silicon Valley intro sketch from the announcement event).

WHO: Google, Droga5

WHY WE CARE: Google’s phone (along with the other devices they announced today) is a long time coming. But it also presents a challenge: It may be a big deal for the company to enter the hardware market in this way, but for consumers, we already know what a phone does, and Google’s isn’t a whole lot different from the phones made by Apple, Samsung, etc. So the question of “how are they going to market this thing?” was about as interesting as “what’s it going to do?”

And the answer here is two-fold. The Silicon Valley sketch may have more viral legs (who doesn’t love Dinesh and Gilfoyle being mean to each other?), but the ad taps into the one thing that Google can offer that other manufacturers can’t, which is the connection that consumers have to Google’s search product. The ad is built around the search bar, placing it at the center of the screen as the ad shows people at parties, swimming, doing stunts, playing cards and more, then reshaping it so that it fits seamlessly into all of those activities and situations. The tagline “Life By You, Phone By Google” suggests that they want to seamlessly integrate what you’re used to in terms of Google, into the rest of your life with the phone. In the end, this is still just a phone, and we’ve all had the ability to do Google searches while living our lives in the world for almost a decade–but it’s interesting to see exactly how the company decided to plant its first stake in the ground.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.