Google Pixel Launch: Search Giant Starts Big Advertising Around New Phones

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Google Pixel Launch: Search Giant Starts Big Advertising Around New Phones
Highlights
  • New "Pixel" smartphone is off to a fast marketing start with $3.2 million
  • Google declined to discuss how much it will spend advertising the Pixel
  • The company still must work to find its creative signature in advertising

Google's new "Pixel" smartphone is off to a fast marketing start with $3.2 million (roughly Rs. 21.3 crores) in television ads in two days since it announced the upcoming launch, and ad executives expect Google to spend hundreds of millions more to keep up with rivals Samsung and Apple.

Google's launch of the first phone it has designed itself puts it in direct competition with the two dominant smartphone makers, which each market heavily. While Google's brand is known around the world, and its Android operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, including Samsung's, it is not known as a consumer goods maker. It has made forays, such as the Chromecast streaming player, but not of this size.

(Also see: Behind the Pixel: Google's First Real Threat to the iPhone)

"This is the first time they are in the position of selling themselves to people, as opposed to selling themselves to brands," said Rachel Pasqua, practice lead, connected life at MEC Global, a New York-based advertising agency.

Alphabet Inc's Google declined to discuss how much it will spend advertising the Pixel but Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz told Reuters it was a "very significant marketing campaign".

He said the tech giant may buy ads during Thanksgiving football games. Such ads can cost around a million dollars, according to a media buyer, who wished to remain anonymous.

(Also see: Google Pixel and Pixel XL Price in India, Release Date, Specifications, and More)

Wireless carrier Verizon, which has a US exclusive on the Pixel, will make a significant investment of its own in TV, digital marketing and social media, from around the phone's October 20 launch through the holiday season, said Jeff Dietel, vice president of device marketing at Verizon.

Over the two days of the Google launch, when the company could be expected to spend heavily, Apple spent $2.45 million (roughly Rs. 16.3 crores) and Samsung spent $1.4 million (roughly Rs. 9.3 crores), according to iSpot.tv, showing a competitive start for the Pixel.

But Google still must work to find its creative signature in advertising, said Mike McKay, Chief Creative Officer of Eleven Inc., a San Francisco-based agency that works with Apple. The first spots for the Pixel phones bore some similarities to Apple's ads, he said, noting the familiar stark white backdrop and shots of a slowly rotating phone.

(Also see: Google Pixel and Pixel XL First Impressions)

"When you have an inferior brand, it's OK to compare yourself to someone to elevate you," he said. "But when you are such a strong brand like Google, you have to find your own voice."

© Thomson Reuters 2016

  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Brilliant low-light photography
  • Fast modern processor
  • Great battery life
  • Google Assistant with localisations for India
  • Bad
  • Not very stylish or eye-catching
  • Expensive
  • No storage expansion
Display 5.50-inch
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Front Camera 8-megapixel
Rear Camera 12.3-megapixel
RAM 4GB
Storage 32GB
Battery Capacity 3450mAh
OS Android 7.1
Resolution 1440x2560 pixels
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