Cannes Lions

Captured on Google Pixel 3

PHD, New York / GOOGLE / 2019

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Case Film
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It was Year 3 of Pixel and time to go beyond launching a new smartphone in the market. We had to firmly establish Pixel 3 as a part of culture and elevate its visibility.

We understood that our target audience required ‘social proof’ of seeing Pixel 3 in people’s hands, people they knew and trusted. Especially important as 77% of people are influenced by what’s hot. But we couldn’t just go to influencers, we needed to build large scale social proof, with people and media who could influence culture in a significant way, who in turn would also influence the culture of smartphones.


90% of iPhone users are loyal yet 33% are unsatisfied with their phone. We wanted to take advantage of that rift in the relationship and create a trigger for switching. We knew that trigger was going to be Pixel 3’s camera since cameras are the top driver for consideration in buying a new smartphone. The good news for us is that Pixel 3 has the best camera on the market and is the only intelligent camera, enhanced with the power of Google’s AI.

We decided to use Pixel 3’s superior camera as the conduit to culture, to not just align with media but to create media.

We wanted to shake up the status quo on what a smartphone camera could do.

What if the media itself was created by Pixel 3?


Could we get Anna Wintour to agree to use Pixel 3 to photograph her iconic magazine covers?

Would Jimmy Kimmel get a musical guest to film an epic performance using Pixel 3?

Could we get take photos of stars on the red carpet with Pixel 3?

Would Pixel 3 be the one to film a comedy sketch?

The answer was a resounding YES all around. Our strategy of creating media and moments “Captured on Pixel 3” came to life on the grandest scale, each showcasing the intelligent camera features, and each becoming individual proof points to the overall experience of Pixel 3.

We turned Pixel 3 into the camera of choice for the media and entertainment industry. We replaced existing camera equipment with mobile camera technology in a way that had never been done before.


Conde Nast: world famous photographers used Pixel 3 to capture nine covers - Cardi B on W Magazine, Ryan Gosling on GQ, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra on Vogue, to name a few.

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Eminem’s music video director James Larese used Pixel 3 when filming his performance of Venom high atop the Empire State Building.

Saturday Night Live: Cast favorite Kyle Mooney wrote a sketch featuring Pixel 3. Shorts director Paul Briganti used Pixel 3 to film the entire video in 4K. SNL portrait photographer, Mary Ellen Matthews, did a signature photo shoot of Kyle.

Latin Grammy’s: Pixel 3 captured breakout artist Ozuna’s live music performance from the fans’ angle and took over the red carpet to photograph celebrities, with Pixel 3 affixed to a 180º camera track.

Each campaign activation built on the other to elevate the camera innovation story during the critical Q4 sales period.


Our goal of building cultural relevance and social proof was accomplished, and according to Strategy Analytics, Pixel was the “fastest growing smartphone” in Q4 2018.

Press coverage, positive social conversation and content views proved out the greater cultural impact of the programs, generating nearly a billion earned media impressions.

Some specific numbers we can share:

• Conde Covers trended on Twitter, the VOGUE cover went viral overnight with 2M+ views within the first 24 hours and its related video in the top three trending YouTube videos

• JKL Eminem video generated over 20M views across social and digital, mostly organic

• SNL garnered 27M impressions, 11M video views, 5.4x lift in search

• Latin Grammys reached +30% of a new audience and generated a 17x lift in search

While exact numbers are confidential, brand surveys and internal data revealed double-digit lifts in awareness and consideration, impacting millions of people.

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