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Google Pixel 2 ad

This 2018 advertisement for Google’s Pixel 2 phone features stereotype-defying scenes from 83-year-old Sumiko Iwamuro’s life. The story opens with pictures and clips of Sumiko doing things we may typically associate with an active octogenarian – spending time with friends, exercising in the park, getting her hair done at the salon, and running a small dumpling shop with her brother. As we are shown what she does on Thursdays – listening to vinyl records at home – the background music shifts to techno music, and we see that on Saturdays, she is also a popular DJ in nightclubs across Tokyo. The commercial ends with the narrator stating, “There’s a deeper story behind every picture. Question your lens,” and advertises Google Pixel 2, the “world’s best smartphone camera.”

discussion

How does this commercial challenge stereotypes about older people?

What does the narrator mean when she tells us “There’s a deeper story behind every picture. Question your lens”? What does it mean to question your lens?

What product is being sold in this commercial? What ideas are being invoked to sell that product?

What stereotypes do we typically associate with someone in their 80s? How do the stereotypes differ by gender?