It has been quite a while since Google launched the first Pixel last year in October and although the phone is not ragingly recent but the company has not forgotten about it. Google recently launched an ad campaign called #ADayWithPixel which features Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs. Funnybones. The popular actor-cum-writer is known for her columns and witful writing on social issues. But can Mrs. Funnybones’ presence help the Pixel make a mark with the ad?
The Ad: Mrs Funnybones goes “Okay Google”
#ADayWithPixel in Mrs. Funnybones life is a creative/ hypothetical version of how the day of the former Bollywood diva looks like. It starts with Twinkle Khanna asking Google to take a selfie. This is followed by a number of instructions that the actress gives to the virtual assistant present on the phone. Khanna asks it about her schedule, about restaurants nearby, the air conditions in Delhi and of course our personal favorite of the lot remains “Google, tell me a joke” bit (we do have a thing for lame jokes, you see.)
The ad in those (about!) two minutes follows Twinkle Khanna around and pretty much has covered the whole day and how useful the Pixel and Google Assistant is. At the end of the day, the ad shows the actress at her own book launch where a fan asks Google to take a selfie at the event and Khanna says, “nice phone.” All of these instructions make the ad a little long and it takes exactly 1:50 seconds for it to get over. All this comes with punchy background music which we think was necessary here, as it really beads all of it together.
What we think: More Assistant, Less Pixel
The ad tries to sum up a day in the life of a busy celebrity in two minutes. It is not really that complicated but there are just too many elements. And guess what? We STILL think the brand has not utilized the time effectively.
It is as if Google has only highlighted Google Assistant on the phone and how it can be helpful for the users but the phone itself was a little lost out there – it seemed more like #ADayWithGoogleAssistant than #ADayWithPixel. Had this been a Google Assistant ad, it would have been perfect, highlighting how useful and conversational the Google Assistant is. But the ad does not really put a point forward for Pixel as a smartphone because there are (now) other devices that come with Google Assistant integration, and the other features of the phone that could (hell, should) have been highlighted are missed. The company could have just added one or two instances where the assistant helps the famous writer but creating a two-minute ad around it and then calling it a smartphone ad, did not seem fair to us.
Stretched to the point of Pixel-ation
Whenever we write an ad analysis, we love talking about our three favorite Ss’. We have time and again talked about how an ad should be simple, straightforward and short and while the Google Pixel ad nails the simple and straightforward factors, it just could not carry the burden of a short ad on its shoulders well. As we said, there were no quantum physics elements in the ad, it was just a celebrity trying to go through her day by using a virtual assistant, oops, phone, and if the point was to highlight Google Assistant on the device, we think the company did it perfectly as it was just pretty much the celebrity and Google Assistant. But we think the ad took it a little far when it comes to the third S – it was two minutes long and we literally went through the whole ad thinking that Google might drop another Pixel highlight somewhere but it just did not happen. So, we honestly do not know how many people are going to change their channels after seeing the ad just once. It is so long that the company can trim it and still retain vital information – it shows the assistant giving various information and performing different tasks but that said, we think trimming it would be Google’s safest bet.
Celebrity endorsements have always been very popular but we think that these can sometimes result in what I would like to call “celebrity interference”, and take away a lot of spotlight from the product itself. We think that did not happen in this case – the idea was to show the schedule of a busy person and a celebrity goes well with that kind of role. We loved the fact that Google could keep a balance between the product and the actress. We did not feel like Twinkle took away all the attention. The fact that Google itself is a huge brand evens things between the celebrity and the brand, which often is a huge miss when it comes to brand ambassadors.
Colorful, peppy music… but Mrs Funnybones, where’s the fun?
And the one thing we would like to point out is the fact that although we saw the Queen of Savage Humor, Mrs. Funnybones, in the ad, the ad was not really fun. We generally associate Mrs. Funnybones with witty lines and humor but the actress-cum-writer just could not cast the spell of her magic words for Google. It was a simple ad with nothing exceptional. It was so simple that we think the company forgot to talk about the phone and got stuck on the virtual assistant.
Coming back to the basics, we liked the fact that there are a lot of colors and different settings used in the ad – yes, it will allow the company to trim it into small sections and make it more efficient. We also did not mind the background music in the ad as the peppy tunes work most of the time and pretty much are the safest bets for such ads.
Verdict: More #ADayWithGoogleAssistant
But what about the ad selling more Pixel phones? Well, just like the company we totally forgot about that, too. We think the company should rename the ad and should call it the Google Assistant ad instead of the Pixel because we do not think people will associate much with the phone because of this ad. We loved how Google did the Google Duo ad which was just simple and funny and we wish it had done the same with the Pixel. No, it has not lost the battle completely as it did highlight a key feature of the phone, and associated it with a person known to be witty and clever. But the phone itself? The Pixel might be feeling a little lost. Well, it can always call the Assistant, we guess. Based on the ad, we would say, the score is:
Google Assistant: 1
Google Pixel: 0