Magic Eraser Comes to ‘Other Phones’

Philip Michaels, writing for Tom’s Guide:

If you’re not familiar with Magic Eraser, it made its debut with the the Pixel 6 in 2021, allowing you to easily remove unwanted people and objects from images. Select Magic Eraser, and the tool’s computational smarts will identify things for removal. If you agree with those suggestions, all you have to do is tap them. If you had something else in mind, just draw a circle around it with your finger, and Magic Eraser will make the offending object disappear.

While the Magic Eraser tool is now part of the Google Photos app for iPhone, it’s still tied to Google One. To put it another way, if you want to keep any changes that Magic Eraser makes to your photos, you’ll need to sign up for a Google One membership, with subscriptions starting at $1.99/month for 100GB of storage.

A few months ago I noticed a new TV commercial campaign from Google for its Pixel phones. They start with a narrator saying “Did you know Google makes a phone?”* The next line, in most of the spots: “Sure it’s beautiful, but it does things other phones can’t do.” And then the primary feature they show is ... Magic Eraser. Here’s a 15-second spot that only shows Magic Eraser.

Then Google ran a 90-second Super Bowl spot for the Pixel — starring Amy Schumer, Doja Cat, and some guy from the Milwaukee Bucks — and the whole thing was about Magic Eraser. It’s enough to make you think that the Pixel marketing team had no idea Google was going to make Magic Eraser available to “other phones”.

“It does things other phones can’t do” is a good slogan. “It does things other phones won’t be able to do until the end of this month”, not so much.

* This is a good hook for a Pixel ad campaign because I think it’s true that most Americans don’t know that Google makes phones. But it’s rather embarrassing that most Americans don’t know that Google makes phones given that the original Pixel debuted in 2016, and Google’s Nexus line of phones debuted in 2010. You’ve got a serious marketing problem when you’re 13 years in and see the need for a “Did you know we do this?” campaign.

Thursday, 9 March 2023