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Culture

Google gets household objects to pretend they're you

Technically Incorrect: To sell its Duo app, Google creates various double-acts out of things that you take for granted. It's all rather charming.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


I feel for pepper.

Google/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You're selling something that's remarkably like Apple's FaceTime.

The problem is that it's now several years after Apple launched FaceTime.

How do you get people to care? Or even pay attention.

Google, which launched its FaceTime rival Duo in August, knows that this is a personal product.

So in enticing you to try it, it's created five little two-person conversations. They're not, however, played out by ideal grandmas, granddaughters, insincere friends and various treacly pairs of lovers. They're played out by household objects.

It sounds chillingly Google, but it's actually rather charming.

There's peanut butter and jelly, who love each other very much, but the way they hang up after a call is a little sticky.

There are two socks, who really struggle to find each other.

There's coffee and cream, who are best friends and there for each other in times of stress.

There's toothbrush and toothpaste, who are also best friends -- and, in my head, ex-lovers who stayed friends -- and like to catch up for a gossip.

My favorite, though, are salt and pepper. These two have a hard life. Salt seems to work all the time and pepper can get frustrated that he doesn't get to see salt very often.

She's so in demand that she's often having to pull all-nighters. I fear divorce may be inevitable, which is sad because they both seem like really nice cruets.

These ads are as likely to change the world as Google Duo is.

But they're simple and inviting -- which Google no doubt wishes it could have made many of its products over the years.