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Google's 'Unswitchables' campaign is a painfully contrived way to promote the Pixel 3

The new promotion highlights why users should switch to its latest flagship, but it falls flat in some areas.

Published onNovember 27, 2018

  • Google has launched a new video series to promote switching to the Pixel 3.
  • The three videos see people struggling with the decision to ditch their old phones for the new Google flagship.
  • It doesn’t work very well.

Google has launched a new advertising campaign to promote switching to the Pixel 3 from another smartphone. The ‘Unswitchables’ promotion features three videos so far, which were posted on the Made by Google YouTube channel yesterday (via 9to5Google).

The six-to-seven-minute promo videos follow three people as they debate whether to switch to the new Pixel. They’re followed during their ‘typical’ routines while the host asks them about their lifestyle and what they use their phones for. Each participant is supposedly reluctant about switching.

There’s a chef and small business owner, for example, who says she’s too busy to switch phones. The host then challenges her to transfer the content of her existing phone to the Pixel 3 before he can finish making an appetizer. It’s intended to highlight how fast and convenient the process is supposed to be (data transfer speed comes up again another video ).

The Pixel 3’s camera is also shown off as a dog walker takes some photos, and we also get a look at some AR emojis examples in a couple of the vids.

The participants are then given three weeks with the Pixel 3 to see if they’ll ditch their old phone and “make the switch” permanently. They make some vlogs during this period to offer updates on how they’re getting on.

Google Pixel 3 XL international giveaway!
Pixel 3 XL hands on

Google builds this weird drama around whether the participants will actually switch to the Pixel 3 at the end of their time with it but it doesn’t really work. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that, in the Google-produced video promoting the Pixel 3, each person says they would indeed switch to the Pixel 3. It’s as contrived as it sounds.

These types of ads — depicting supposedly real situations but in the context of being filmed specifically as a piece of marketing — always strike me as awkward. There’s a disclaimer in the videos that says the “opinions expressed by the participants are real and they have been compensated for their time.” Even though they aren’t actors, the videos are unnatural and staged.

The participants also seem unworthy of the “unswitchables” moniker — they’re easily swayed and don’t appear to be hardcore fans of a competing platform (i.e. iOS). One definitely isn’t, it’s only her partner that doesn’t want her to switch phones.

For all the Pixel 3 intuitiveness and its great camera, as underlined in the clips, those messages get diluted thanks to the artificiality of the adverts.

All of that said, it’s commendable that Google refrained from mentioning the iPhone during the clips, instead only showing alternative devices inside a case. It could have easily name-dropped Apple’s products, yet Google kept it classy. Take notes, Samsung marketing team.

Up next: Speed Test G: HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 XL

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