Inclusive marketing: Behind the scenes of the Google Pixel 6 campaign with Simu Liu
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Inclusive marketing: Behind the scenes of the Google Pixel 6 campaign with Simu LiuJune 2022
For the team behind the Canadian launch of the Pixel 6, Google’s most inclusive phone ever, it was important to create a marketing campaign that genuinely reflected that inclusivity. Starring Marvel superhero Simu Liu, and focusing on the Pixel’s Live Translate feature, the ad reflects Google’s concerted effort to create authentic, inclusive marketing — in fact, it was Canada’s first national campaign shot entirely in Mandarin. Pulling it off required collaboration on every level, including the Google team, partner agency Cossette, Director Peter Huang, and Simu Liu himself (along with his parents). In this video, hear from Laura Pearce, head of Google Marketing Canada, and Director Peter Huang on how to create a great inclusive marketing campaign, and the power it has to authentically reach audiences.
Peter: I'm Peter Huang, I'm the director of the Google Pixel 6 campaign featuring Simu Liu, and it is the first national Mandarin campaign in Canada.
Laura: My name's Laura Pearce and I am the head of marketing for Google in Canada and I was so excited to work on this campaign for the Pixel 6, our most inclusive phone ever.
I think it's important for all brands to make ads that actually connect with people. So Google's mission is to take all of the world's information and make it universally accessible. And we bring that to life in our products. So with the Pixel 6, our most inclusive phone ever, it has this Live Translate feature. And then we wanted to make a marketing campaign that really brought that to life, that inclusivity.
Peter: It just made sense with the concept that you would have essentially sort of like a Western crew working on this translation feature and then his mom giving direction in Mandarin, and the director being able to see it translated live, I think provides this great showcase for what the phone does, but it also makes for a punchline. And so I think it was like a perfect showcase of the actual feature in a way that was entertaining and kind of natural to the scene too.
Laura: I think it's important to say that we did not set out with the goal of, hey, we need to put an OKR on the board to do an inclusive marketing campaign. You have to start with the insight, so we started, as we said, with the insight around our product, and we also had the insight around the audience. Asian Canadians are actually the largest multicultural group in Canada and Mandarin is the third most spoken language, but nobody's ever seen a television commercial shot entirely in Mandarin on national television in Canada. Although I think it is smart to do marketing around key dates like Diwali, I don't think you should be doing them only at those moments in the year. The communities deserve to be served throughout the whole year. And then you don't have to have a Marvel superhero, it's been great, don't get me wrong, but I think you just wanna go with authentic storytelling. What is the story you're trying to tell, how does it come to life in an authentic way that's true to the community that you're speaking to and I think a lot of that is make sure you have members of that community who are consulting on your ad. So I think it's really important to understand who's in front of the camera and then bring people behind the camera that can relate and again, back to that authentic storytelling,
Peter: There was an openness to allowing people to bring in their own personal experiences from either their ethnicity or from, you know, their life. His parents saying his nickname ‘maomao’ was actually totally unexpected, that was actually fully unscripted. It instantly gave this authenticity to the campaign because it was so real and it was the actual nickname, none of us knew that. And the fact that it just came out, just made it so much more real and relatable for everybody.
Laura: I think one of the things we wanted to do was drive the viral nature of this ad. We had 1.4 million impressions on this ad organically before we started any of the paid. And we saw a 99% positive sentiment on Twitter. And as you scrolled through the comments, there were so many people saying that's exactly how it goes in my house. So I'm really pleased to say that this campaign drove 136% lift in Pixel sales. We actually saw a 53% lift in search for Pixel 6 among the total Canadian population. But even more importantly is that we saw 154% search lift among Chinese Canadians.
Peter: It's actually more universal than people think it is. They think it's maybe just gonna land with, you know, Asian people, but it actually hit so many demographics, as you can see in the comments. It's very clear that the audience can recognize themselves and then see something that they can relate to, and then they just end up developing a lot more of a personal connection to the spot itself.
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