Cannes Lions

Pay With A Photo

DEEPLOCAL, Pittsburgh / GOOGLE / 2016

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When you need to find that one photo that perfectly illustrates your story, you only have seconds before the moment is lost. To highlight the search speed of Google Photos, we recreated that high pressure social situation when you only have seconds to find “that one time.”

Enter the Google Photos #PayWithaPhoto food truck: the only place where finding “that one time” fast earns you food.

“Pay with a photo. Your money is no good here.”

At the #PayWithaPhoto food truck, photos were the only currency accepted. Customers were challenged to beat a large mechanized countdown clock by locating a photo of a randomly displayed prompt, like “dog” or “beach within 20 seconds. Those who found a photo could "pay" for their waffle by showing the matching image. Those who couldn’t find the photo in time received a free mini waffle instead.


At the #PayWithaPhoto food truck, people could pay for food by finding a photo on their phones. The catch was that they only had 20 seconds to find it—a challenge that was much easier if they used the Google Photos search.

We partnered with Wafels & Dinges, a NYC based food truck with a loyal following, and skinned the truck with #PayWithaPhoto branding. Passersby were challenged to find a photo in their phone gallery based on a popular search term. They raced against a mechanical clock to find their photo. Those who found it used their photo as currency to "pay" for a large waffle. Those who didn't received a small waffle—and a lesson about the speed and simplicity of Google Photos search.

The #PayWithaPhoto truck traveled to NYC, LA, Portland, and Austin—hitting multiple neighborhoods in each market. Locations were selected based on target demographic populations and foot traffic.


The Pay With a Photo activation traveled to New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, and Austin, increasing brand awareness of the Google Photos app by directly connecting with our target audience. Visitors to the truck generated 25MM social impressions and 153K social engagements. We also earned 42MM media impressions, including organic coverage in TechCrunch, The Daily Meal, LA Times, and Creativity Top 20.

Over 7000 people played the game including influential visitors like rappers Migos; Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore; Grace Atwood, founder of the popular lifestyle blog The Stripe; and Sydney Kramer, founder of the favorite food blog, The Crepes of Wrath.

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2021, GOOGLE

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