New Galaxy Nexus ad: Human, but still too Google?

To launch its Galaxy Nexus, Google offers an ad full of sweet feelings. But will it make iPhone junkies stop and reassess? Perhaps not.

I know there are many people whose eyelids are fluttering at the prospect of the new Google Galaxy Nexus phone.

There are slightly more people, though, who will never have heard of it.

Which means if you're going to produce an ad that says, roughly: "Hullo, this is the new, frightfully exciting, earth-shuddering phone from your Google buddies," then perhaps that ad should project your thought.

Instead, we are offered something that might well have been for a school, a retreat, or a local Green Party candidate.

It has pretty, caring young people enjoying their lives to the fullest, expressing themselves as only pretty, young people can--by staring into cameras.

It has music that many, many will feel reflects many, many an Apple ad. (This is, in its way, a compliment.)

It even has a baby, though not one that is yet able to play with the phone.

And yet it's the playing with the phone thing that doesn't quite emerge from this hugfest. The pictures seem to tell me that I can take pictures with it. They also tell me that I can get Google Maps on it while I ride my bike. Which isn't such a simple maneuver.

I can, apparently, speak poetry into it--in this case "there's more light in the night."

At the end, some words and phrases come up. The first is "Face Unlock." I spent quite some minutes trying to imagine what that might be and came up with face screwed-up. Then "Android Beam." I spent a few more moments wondering about that and came up with: "Nope."

Worse, perhaps, some people might try to relate these phrases to what they saw in the ad. At which point--if they haven't already--they might just look at their iPhone and whisper: "Darling, I am so glad I met someone who understands me."

At which point Siri will answer: "Keep your hands where I can see them."

As the phrases keep on coming, one seems utterly curious: "Google+ with Hangouts." Would you buy a phone because it had Google+ with Hangouts? Would anyone?

It might well be that the phrases are there to create intrigue. Indeed, watching the ad again I can see what Face Unlock actually is. Although here I read that some people are already showing some prima facie security flaws.

It might also be that there will be subsequent ads that display each of the features in more expressive detail.

The experts say that the Galaxy Nexus is, like this ad, nice enough, but not a revolution.

What Apple, though, understands rather better than Google is that people are fundamentally lazy. They want technology to be even simpler than a Chippendale. They like their ads that way too.

Many might feel that this ad--though it tries hard--reveals itself a little too much at the very end with the words: Pure Google.

 

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