Sometimes an ad is not just about a specific product but can also give us hints about the company’s position towards something. For example, in their latest ad for the Pixel 3 smartphone, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL)‘s Google took a subtle, yet distinct, jab at cryptocurrency.
What Is The Google Pixel 3 Ad About?
The new ad from Google, which stars The Daily Show correspondents Ronny Chieng and Dulcé Sloan, presents a new feature from Google Assistant, “Call Screen.” The feature allows screening a call to identify the caller and the purpose of the call.
At one point, the Google Assistant displays a message from the electric company. The message says that electricity consumption is very high. To this, Teddy (Chieng) says: “well, cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of energy.” Abby (Sloan) replies: “cryptocurrency, that money is not real,” implying that crypto has no intrinsic value. The dialog ends with Teddy saying that actually all money is not real and Abby replying: “you gonna live that lie?”.
Debate About Crypto’s Intrinsic Value is Old
In their Pixel 3 advertisement, Google mocks an old topic that the crypto community has been debating since its very origins.
Skeptics that argue that Bitcoin and other crypto has no intrinsic value, to which many crypto enthusiasts reply that neither do any fiat. Both parties are right and wrong at the same time.
While fiat currencies have no intrinsic value, they are backed by the issuing government. Bitcoin and other cryptos are backed by people’s willingness to buy them, use them as a medium of exchange, and hold them as a store of value.
Google Has a Complicated Relationship With Crypto
Google is one of the last major companies to offer blockchain as part of their cloud-based solutions. In July, the company announced that it would offer distributed ledger technology solutions on its Cloud Platform. To deploy the technology, Google partnered with Digital Asset and BlockApps.
When it comes to crypto, Google seems not to be a fan. In March, the company said it would ban all cryptocurrency-related online advertising, including Initial Coin Offerings, starting June.
However, on October 1 it resumed accepting some crypto ads. However, the ads can only run in the US and Japan. Moreover, Google requires special certification to allow the ads.
When the ban was first announced, Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, told CNBC: “We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
You can watch the full ad below: