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Google Pixel Launch: Search Giant Starts Big Advertising Around New Phones

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Google’s new “Pixel” smartphone is off to a fast marketing start with $3.2 million (roughly Rs. 21.3 crores) in television ads in two days since it announced the upcoming launch, and ad executives expect Google to spend hundreds of millions more to keep up with rivals Samsung and Apple.

Google’s launch of the first phone it has designed itself puts it in direct competition with the two dominant smartphone makers, which each market heavily. While Google’s brand is known around the world, and its Android operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, including Samsung’s, it is not known as a consumer goods maker. It has made forays, such as the Chromecast streaming player, but not of this size.

“This is the first time they are in the position of selling themselves to people, as opposed to selling themselves to brands,” said Rachel Pasqua, practice lead, connected life at MEC Global, a New York-based advertising agency.

Alphabet Inc’s Google declined to discuss how much it will spend advertising the Pixel but Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz told Reuters it was a “very significant marketing campaign”.

He said the tech giant may buy ads during Thanksgiving football games. Such ads can cost around a million dollars, according to a media buyer, who wished to remain anonymous.

Wireless carrier Verizon, which has a US exclusive on the Pixel, will make a significant investment of its own in TV, digital marketing and social media, from around the phone’s October 20 launch through the holiday season, said Jeff Dietel, vice president of device marketing at Verizon.

Over the two days of the Google launch, when the company could be expected to spend heavily, Apple spent $2.45 million (roughly Rs. 16.3 crores) and Samsung spent $1.4 million (roughly Rs. 9.3 crores), according to iSpot.tv, showing a competitive start for the Pixel.

But Google still must work to find its creative signature in advertising, said Mike McKay, Chief Creative Officer of Eleven Inc., a San Francisco-based agency that works with Apple. The first spots for the Pixel phones bore some similarities to Apple’s ads, he said, noting the familiar stark white backdrop and shots of a slowly rotating phone.

“When you have an inferior brand, it’s OK to compare yourself to someone to elevate you,” he said. “But when you are such a strong brand like Google, you have to find your own voice.”

Google Pixel

General

Release date October 2016
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 143.80 x 69.50 x 8.60
Weight (g) 143.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 2770
Removable battery No
Colours Very Silver, Quite Black, Really Blue
SAR value NA

Display

Screen size (inches) 5.00
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI) 441

Hardware

Processor 1.6GHz  quad-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB
Internal storage 32GB

Camera

Rear camera 12.3-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 8-megapixel

Software

Operating System Android 7.1

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.20
NFC Yes
Infrared No
USB OTG No
Headphones 3.5mm
FM No
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/ CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes

Sensors

Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes
Barometer Yes
Temperature sensor No

Google Pixel XL

General

Release date October 2016
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 154.70 x 75.70 x 8.50
Weight (g) 168.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3450
Removable battery No
Colours Very Silver, Quite Black, Really Blue
SAR value NA

Display

Screen size (inches) 5.50
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1440×2560 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI) 534

Hardware

Processor 1.6GHz  quad-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB
Internal storage 32GB

Camera

Rear camera 12.3-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 8-megapixel

Software

Operating System Android 7.1

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported NA
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.20
NFC Yes
Infrared No
USB OTG No
Headphones 3.5mm
FM No
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/ CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes

Sensors

Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes
Barometer Yes
Temperature sensor No