• 03.29.17

Samsung Galaxy S8 Vs. Google Pixel: Which Ad Framed It Better?

Samsung’s promo spot for the S8 relies on one significantly familiar element.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Vs. Google Pixel: Which Ad Framed It Better?

The Galaxy S8 is set to be perhaps Samsung’s biggest product release of the year, so it should come as a surprise to no one that the brand will have a major global marketing campaign for its latest and greatest. We found a sneak peek of it in this new, five-second “Unbox Your Phone” spot.


Butterflies, trees, birds chirping. Cool.

But there was something else. Something… familiar.

That outline. Using the shape of the device as a frame through which to view the world was the star of an ad campaign last fall for Google’s Pixel phone. The outline of the device was key to helping people make the connection between the search giant’s iconic search bar and the new Pixel phone, Google’s ad agency Droga5 told me.

“The most recognized connection to Google is the search bar,” Droga5 executive creative director Kevin Brady said at the time. “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.”


Obviously we have no idea just how prominent the Samsung phone frame will be in the rest of the upcoming campaign. And of course it looks completely different, and is shown in a different context than the Pixel shape. Maybe it’ll just be like a visual tagline. Barely a blip on the screen.

But still, weird right?

UPDATE: The full Galaxy S8 launch ad, by agency Leo Burnett Chicago, has been released and… that familiar shape isn’t just a blip on the screen.

About the author

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