Cannes Lions

Captured on Google Pixel 3 | Conde Covers

PHD, New York / GOOGLE / 2019

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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 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’s camera since cameras are the top driver for consideration in buying a new smartphone. The good news for us is that Pixel 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 the Pixel 3’s superior camera as the conduit to culture on a global scale. As the ultimate proof point for camera capability, we turned Pixel 3 into the camera of choice for world renowned photographers.


Magazine covers are the ultimate expression of premium photography and an apex moment in a photographer’s career . We replaced their existing, traditional camera equipment with our mobile camera technology, turning elite cover photography on its head.

In over 80 years of magazine photography, no one had ever attempted to do this at this caliber. The scale of the partnership across Conde Nast was unprecedented, but the use of a smartphone to shoot was a true world first, a statement that would grab global attention -- and headlines.

We turned this breakthrough moment into a PR event, a trending topic in social and an out-of-home spectacle in New York’s Time Square and Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing.


There were a total of twelve covers captured by world-class photographers - ten printed and two digital, including Vogue’s first ever digital cover.

- Vogue Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra photographed by Annie Liebovitz

- W Magazine Cardi B by Mickalene Thomas

- GQ Ryan Gosling by Giampaolo Sgura

- British GQ Anthony Joshua by Gavin Bond

- Architectural Digest Alessandra Ambrosio by Douglas Friedman

- Glamour Chrissy Metz, Susan Kelechi Watson & Mandy Moore by Victor Demarchelier

- Allure Angela Bassett by Sharif Hamza

- GQ Joel Embiid by Lane Stewart

- Bon Appetit by Graydon + Herriott

- Conde Nast Traveler by Yugi Suguira

- Wired UK Stella McCartney by Erik Madigan Heck

- Vogue Girl Japan entire issue by various photographers

Pixel 3 received a photo credit in each magazine’s editorial masthead and every title’s social post was called out as captured on #pixel3.


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 millions of earned media impressions.

Conde Covers trended organically on Twitter. The VOGUE cover went viral overnight with 2M+ views within the first 24 hours. The behind the scenes video of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra was in the top three trending YouTube videos.

While exact numbers are confidential, brand surveys and internal data revealed high single and often double-digit lifts in awareness and consideration, impacting tens of millions of people at those measures.

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