Cannes Lions

Pixel 4A Launch

REVERE, San Francisco / GOOGLE / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The Pixel 4a was one of the company's most anticipated smartphones ever. Thousands of tweets drove social conversation before the phone was even announced. Thanks to leaks and delays, the internet already knew just about everything there was to know and had grown tired of waiting. Like many companies our supply chain was impacted by COVID-19 - consumer and media anticipation went from excitement to skepticism and frustration.

The problem… how do you get the internet excited about an overdue phone release whose features have already been leaked? Against this backdrop, our challenge was to launch the Google Pixel 4a into the market in a way that would generate positive engagement, earn coverage and ultimately drive demand.

Objectives:

- Generate demand by sparking favorable conversation in social and driving users to order in advance

- Earned media buzz

- Generate excitement and drive social engagement from both fans and media/influencers

Idea

In the world of tech launches, keynote moments are the norm. In today’s landscape, consumers are hungrier than ever for personal interaction, so when our features have leaked, customers are frustrated by delays, AND the new Pixel 4a had the most pre-launch buzz than any other Pixel phone, it leaves an opportunity for something new.

We asked ourselves, what if instead of an elaborate launch with big stages and bold-faced names, we engaged critics and fans in an unexpected and personal way while addressing the leaks and speculation directly? So we did, via Twitter, over 1,500 times. We crafted hundreds of personalized tweets and replied directly to each of these people – alerting them about the Pixel 4a’s availability and driving them to GoogleStore.com for pre-order. The tweets included a personalized call-out, custom visual and even a personalized landing page on GoogleStore.com for select fans.

Strategy

Data gathering:

We analyzed 56,000+ Twitter mentions of Pixel 4a over the last year and categorized users based on their location (if publicly available), influence-level, and specific commentary about the phone. From there, we narrowed down to the 1,500 most relevant and influential accounts based on the scale of their reach and sentiment towards Google Pixel.

Target audience:

-Pixel Fans

-Tech influencers

-Media

Approach:

We crafted hundreds of personalized tweets and replied directly, no matter how old the tweet, to each of these people on launch day – alerting them to the Pixel 4a’s availability and driving them to GoogleStore.com for pre-order. The tweets included a personalized call-out, custom visual and even a personalized landing page on GoogleStore.com for select fans.

Call to action:

Drive fans to Google Store.com for Pixel 4a pre-order through our personalized tweet replies, custom visuals and personalized GoogleStore.com landing pages.

Execution

Implementation:

-Analyzed previous chatter about the device, identifying

the most meaningful mentions and individuals and started replying, one by one

-Paired personalized responses with custom GoogleStore.com pages featuring fans’ names and features about the device. To tease the launch, we placed hidden messages on Google's social channels and website. On launch day, we revealed the device in the most social format possible: a 4-second GIF showcasing features while teasing upcoming 5G phones

Timeline:

TEASE: 7/28 - 8/3: Teased the release in a way that got people interested and laser focused before launch

LAUNCH: 8/3: Posted a share-worthy hero asset to announce

ENGAGE: 8/3: Engaged users who mentioned the device on Twitter via replies, starting with a reply to the first tweet, 16 months earlier (spoiler alert: he bought the phone)

Placement:

-Came to life exclusively through organic Tweets via our replies and personalized landing pages

-Scale

-Global social campaign

Outcome

The response to the campaign was astounding.

We drove more visits to GoogleStore.com from social on launch day (vs. Pixel 3a) with a specific increase in Twitter-driven visits.

-29.3K total social mentions (+36% over Pixel 3a)

-239% increase in social engagement over previous launches, with an overwhelmingly positive sentiment for the new device

-24% net positive sentiment (+21 percentage point jump over Pixel 3a).

Fans, influencers and critics were convinced. The first person to ever post about Pixel 4a (16 months before we announced it), purchased the new device after we engaged with him on Twitter. The reporter who published an op ed saying Google "isn't bothered by hardware," told his 300K followers how great Google was after we directly replied. Casey Neistat, former Samsung spokesperson? He wrote back too, sharing his excitement about the 4a with us… and his 2 million followers. We have 1,743 more stories like this.

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