Google Sings Prince At The Grammys To Make You Love Pixel

The brand’s new ad combines its iconic search bar with YouTuber culture to give its phone a purple halo.

Google Sings Prince At The Grammys To Make You Love Pixel

WHAT: A new ad for Google’s Pixel phone that has Deer Tick’s John McCauley, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Sampha, Brandi Carlile and more covering Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in YouTuber style.

WHO: Google, Droga5

WHY WE CARE: First of all: Prince cover. Nice one. But it’s also a logical and smart extension–especially during the Grammys, but even more broadly–of what the brand had already begun with its original Pixel campaign. Drawing us in with the search bar in order to consider a phone from Google. Droga5 executive creative director Kevin Brady told me in November that the biggest creative challenge was to introduce people to the Google they know and love in a new format, a phone. “And around the globe, the most recognized connection to Google is the search bar,” Brady said. “Sure, they have done so many other amazing things, but this one shape is the clearest and simplest symbol of all the smarts of Google. Once we realized that, and of course noticed that the shape of our phone was also a rectangle, but a very different shape, we had our campaign. It was building on a truly own-able and iconic equity that everyone could relate to and understand.”

What this spot does is take that concept and introduce something many millions of people also love about Google–YouTube, and YouTuber culture. Getting people to cover Prince in the same, intimately personal way so many others do with their music every day on YouTube makes that same connection between a product we already love, and one Google is hoping we will.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.