Unlike with past releases, Google is actually pushing the Pixel to customers, and it’s pushing it hard. Ads air on TV seemingly every time you turn it on, and in the US, most of those ads pick up Verizon’s name at the end…
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While the “only on Verizon” tagline might not help out unlocked sales since, well, it’s pretty misleading, it appears to be helping out sales for Verizon. According to a report from Wave7 Research, the Google Pixel accounted for 7.5% of all Verizon activations during the last month, a big deal considering we’re entering the holiday season.
This is, of course, thanks in part to Verizon’s giant marketing push on the Pixel too. Along with Google’s ads, Verizon has been releasing its own ads on TV, as well as advertising both the Pixel and Pixel XL in stores. The carrier even started advertising the Daydream View headset following its release this week.
The marketing push behind the Pixel is nothing short of impressive, and both Google and Verizon are going all in on the campaign. According to the report, between October 27th and November 2nd, just a single week, Google spent nearly $15 million advertising the Pixel while Verizon backed that up with another $12 million spend.
While that is clearly working on Verizon’s network, activations of unlocked units on other carriers aren’t doing so hot, apparently taking up between 0-2% of activations during the same time period. There’s still a chance Google could work out deals with carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile to offer the Pixel and push more advertising, which would be a wise move for sake of sales figures, but the “exclusive” deal with Verizon may prevent that for now. T-Mobile has already made an offer to Pixel buyers who can bring the Pixel to T-Mobile’s network in exchange for a bill credit of $325, but Google wasn’t involved in that deal, and T-Mobile hasn’t exactly done much to advertise it.
With the holiday shopping season coming up and stock of the Pixel and Pixel XL returning to Verizon and the Google Store, we’ll be excited to see how the Pixel sells.