Google Duo holiday ads take a subtle dig at Apple to remind us the app also works on iPhones


Google simultaneously unveiled Allo and Duo more than two and a half years ago, but while the instant messaging mobile app failed to catch on, heading towards a predictably unhappy ending in March 2019, the search giant’s cross-platform video chat service will live on and presumably continue to thrive.

Obviously, Google Duo is significantly more popular on Android devices than iPhones, having already exceeded 500 million Play Store installs and nearing 3 million ratings with a decent 4.6-star average.

Seeing as how the app has only been reviewed by a little over 148K iOS users, it’s not very surprising to see Google focusing on the multi-platform-using family angle in a trio of clever new Duo ads.


The three commercials are rather short and sweet, arguably managing to drive their main point home... while taking a subtle yet efficient dig at Apple. Can you spot the cheeky wordplay? Let us help you out if you can’t. 

In two of the three short clips recently uploaded to Google’s official YouTube channel, the narrator and protagonist complains her nice holiday face-to-face-time with her estranged brother would abruptly come to an end after Christmas were it not for the Android and iOS-compatible Duo platform. Face-to-face time, get it? Face to FaceTime...


The point is Apple’s proprietary video calling service doesn’t support Androids, so if you have a Pixel 3 XL and want to communicate with an iPhone-owning family member, Duo is the way to go. Or Skype, or WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger, or countless other similar apps.

That’s not part of Google’s latest advertising blitz, obviously, which instead includes a badly photoshopped Pixel 3 XL picture as the thumbnail for one of the three new videos. As many YouTube commenters were quick to point out, the phone’s notch is camouflaged and its chin is non-existent. Oh, well, at least the device shown in the actual commercials is the real deal.

FEATURED VIDEO

4 Comments

1. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

No reason for me to download google apps. We all knew why messages and facetime is so popular, its an end to end encryption from APPLE itself.

2. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1025; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

yes because no one has ever been able to access information stored in Apple's servers... ever

3. Vokilam

Posts: 1140; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I’ve installed hangouts - no one uses I’ve installed duo - no one uses that either. Skype - only one person uses that. Viber - only one person. Then I got an iPhone and FaceTime - 80% of my contacts. Im not going to motivate everyone who has android start using Duo, I’ve been trying to do that with every messaging and video calling app - get everyone I know to adopt to one standard app - it’s not possible. Most likely google will discontinue Duo as the doing with Allo. Sorry, google, it’s not “too bad he has an iPhone” - it’s too bad “she has a pixel”. There’s no standard.

4. Truthalltime

Posts: 40; Member since: Dec 08, 2018

I promise you almost everyone is on WhatsApp so try that maybe. But if you're American then stick to your apple stuff.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.