Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Why Ads Are Looking More Like Smartphone Photography

Katherine Rosman for the Wall Street Journal1:

Over the summer, Google hired documentary director David Gelb to shoot a TV commercial for Google Fiber high-speed Internet access. Mr. Gelb interviewed residents of Kansas City about how better Web access might change their lives. The client requested that he shoot more and more with a smartphone.

At first, he was reluctant. But after examining the smartphone footage, he says, he understood.

“User-generated content—the feel and the actual images—is very intimate, and that visual language is very familiar to people,” he says.

The inherent irony of this is that despite their efforts to make these ads feel more genuine, they cost about the same as a campaign shot with pro photo gear, thereby becoming less genuine as a result.


  1. Since the article is behind the WSJ’s paywall, you can view it with via a Google referral↩︎