Google looks to be more accessible

A new ad, spoken entirely in Mandarin, is the company's way of promoting both inclusivity and technical specs.


Google’s latest Canadian campaign for its Pixel 6 smartphone is looking to speak to audiences in a language they can understand, regardless of which language that is.

“For All You Are” is entirely in Mandarin, with actor Simu Liu specifically calling out the Pixel 6′s Live Translate function, breaking the fourth wall to joke with his parents about their career expectations for him.

“Google, at its core, is about making tech more accessible to folks,” says Andrew Rapsey, head of product marketing and brand partnerships with Google Canada. The Live Translate feature is a product differentiator, he says, but also tightly coupled with Google’s values of inclusivity. Liu, Rapsey says, is the perfect spokesperson, given the Kim’s Convenience star’s rise to international stardom after his role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – as well as his native fluency in Mandarin.

The campaign debuted Monday, with the actor also sharing the spot on his Instagram and calling out how the phone is “a great tool for immigrant families to communicate with people.”

That idea is actually core to the campaign concept. Mandarin is the third-most spoken language Canadians use in their homes, after English and French. Chinese Canadians also represent just over 5% of the Canadian population – representing 1.8 million people, a number most experts agree has likely grown since the 2016 census.

“We want to demonstrate how Pixel features can help connect Canadians in ways they never thought were possible,” he says. “Why not double down on that commitment with a national commercial shot entirely in Mandarin?”

In the future, if it finds another spokesperson who is fluent in another language, Rapsey says Google will pursue that line of positioning, but this campaign is about connecting people authentically with Liu, and taps the insight that Canadians tend to root for hometown success stories. When it comes to Canada-specific marketing, Google has typically partnered with MLSE and NBA Canada with creative featuring players from the Toronto Raptors, but leading with a major Canadian actor is a first for the company here.

Plus, besides those who have moved to Canada from China, the campaign concept is one Rapsey says should also resonate with first- or even second-generation Canadians. The concept is also recognizable to anyone wants to translate a language other than Mandarin – and was used in its ads in both English and French with Canadian tennis pro Leylah Fernandez that debuted earlier this month.

The Pixel 6 received a big global launch prior to the holidays, as it was the first “all Google” phone made with the company’s own chip. The company wants to keep the momentum going, as it aims to disrupt the hold Apple and Samsung have on the smartphone market. The approaching Lunar New Year represents a great opportunity to reach Asian audiences, Rapsey explains.

Viewers can expect to see the ads on select English-language broadcast and digital outlets, and will air alongside the ads with Fernandez. Longstanding agency partner Cossette created the spot. Essence is handling the digital buy, with PHD doing the traditional offline buy. Media Profile is leading PR efforts.