Essence: Google The Chain


Essence: Google The Chain

Cutting through a crowded marketplace

When Google’s Pixel smartphone launched in late 2016, nearly a decade after the iPhone, the marketplace was dominated by Apple and Samsung. 

In order to get the Pixel 2 noticed, Essence and Google partnered with Guardian Labs and asked people to demand more of their phones. 

The new Pixel smartphone appealed to a highly stylish “creatures of change” crowd – the designers, writers, critics, and conversationalists who question norms. Over the course of a 10-day period, 10 catalysts, including model and activist Adwoa Aboah, Naomi Shimada, and artist Phoebe Collings-James, explored the great features of the new Pixel 2.

Each gave a behind the scenes look at their daily lives: their inspirations and the people they connect with, to create an online magazine The Chain. They captured their content on their Pixel 2 device, uploaded daily onto The Guardian, and helped curate 50+ digital articles, three videos and a beautiful 32-page fashion magazine that was then distributed in fashion boutiques across London.