This week Google unleashed a handful of new products to entwine our lives even further into its snuggly, totally not-evil, digital embrace. Things like Google Home, Google Wifi, Chromecast Ultra, the Daydream VR headset, and of course, the Pixel phone. This hardware hootenanny may have been all be about making artificial intelligence a warm and fuzzy part of our everyday life, but let's also take a moment to recognize another significant development—the presence of Dinesh and Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley to open the whole party. A nice touch of exactly the type of self-awareness the hit HBO show so often skewers tech giants for lacking. Onward!
What: A stylish introduction to Google's new phone.
Who: Google, Droga5
Why We Care: While we already do everything we need on our current smartphones, the clever play here is tying the performance of the new phone to the one thing Google absolutely dominates. By showing the familiar, almighty search window morph into the phone, the brand forces us to associate its established quality with its newest direction.
What: A particularly pop culture-drenched Halloween ad for Kit Kat.
Who: Kit Kat, Anomaly
Why We Care: It's a pun almost too good to be true. It's the kind of idea that gets tossed out early because there's no way Chance will actually do it, right? Right? Wrong. Not only does he do it, it's just goofy enough to not be corny. Or maybe it's so corny, it's not corny? It helps he's singing a 30-year-old jingle that has been buried deep into the minds of millions, but dormant for many, many years. Like a marketing sleeper cell. And they just got one of the hottest artists in the world to wake everyone up.
What: A very targeted pitch for the powers of Amazon's Echo and Alexa personal assistant.
Why We Care: While the roll-out of smart home assistants continues—welcome to the club, Google Home!—they're definitely still on the early adopter train. A broader audience is still sitting back trying to figure out just how one of these things could actually be useful instead of just a keeping-up-with-the-Bezoses trinket. So here we have a spot that uses a sense of humor (and Mr. Mister) to show just how much more it can do for you and your sweet little girl who that zit-faced dirtbag on your front lawn definitely doesn't deserve than simply order a pizza.
What: A new Apple ad to hype the iPhone 7's revamped iMessage capabilities in iOS 10.
Who: Apple, TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Why We Care: Our peek into the messaging future arrived the other week when Apple unveiled all the new features of iMessage—bringing it a lot closer to how people have been using WeChat in China for a while now. Things like being able play YouTube videos or music, send money, order food, and more all from within the app. It even has an emoji version of autocorrect, suggesting emojis to replace certain words. Like, say, eggplant. With all these shiny new bits, you might expect a slick Apple demo ad, probably with a clever voiceover. Instead we get balloons. Because we can read all about the new features, while this uses beautiful film and a song to tug our heartstrings and hit us right in the feels.
What: The trailer to the new BMW Films project, The Escape.
Who: BMW, Geisel Productions
Why We Care: For brand content nerds, BMW Films is gospel. Now, here comes the trailer for its return. Clive Owen is climbing back into the driver's seat, along with Dakota Fanning and John Berenthal, with Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) adding his name to the impressive list of directors—among them Guy Ritchie, John Frankenheimer, Tony Scott, Alejandro González Iñárritu—who oversaw the eight-part original series 15 years ago. It launches on October 23, and if this explosive trailer is any indication, its hoping to add to the brand's legacy of Hollywood caliber entertainment that still features its logo.