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Did Google drop a Pixel Easter Egg in its Macauley Culkin ad?

A previously unseen Pixel phone in the Macauley Culkin Google ad showing on the IGN channel. (Source: Google/Own)
A previously unseen Pixel phone in the Macauley Culkin Google ad showing on the IGN channel. (Source: Google/Own)
The new Google ad featuring Macauley Culkin reprising his role as Kevin McCallister has been a smash hit racking up over 31 million views on YouTube since it was published on December 19. However, it appears that there might be two versions of the clip circulating; one with the standard Pixel 3 XL as we know it with a notch, and one with what could be an Easter Egg showing a variation of the same device, but with the notch hidden (or absent altogether) but with an edge-to-edge screen.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

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Google has created a viral hit with its latest ad featuring Macauley Culkin revisiting his role as Kevin McCallister from the Holiday movie smash ‘Home Alone.’ The segment is set in the original house, except this time, Culkin is plugging the benefits and capabilities of Google Assistant using a variety of Google devices. Phone spotters will be intrigued to learn that there are apparently two versions of the trailer showing, both with what look like Google Pixel 3 XL smartphones, but with notable differences from models currently on sale.

In the version of the ad (embedded below, first) on the IGN YouTube channel (between 14 and 18 second marks) the device shown incorporates a previously unseen reddish-orange power button. More importantly, it has a noticeably different display configuration to the Pixel 3XL as we know it. Here, it stretches completely from edge-to-edge without an edge bezel. In the version of the ad (embedded below, second) from the official Google YouTube channel, you can see the Google Pixel 3 XL 'Clearly White' notched model, but it also has a reddish-orange colored power button. The current version of this model only ships with a mint green colored button, making this a previously unseen variant of the device.

The "IGN" variant of the phone is certainly intriguing. Is it a Pixel 3 XL prototype? Or is it someone simply getting up to a bit of digital mischief? If the former, it wouldn’t be the first time that Google has depicted a variation of one of its devices in an ad. Earlier this year a Google web ad depicted what looked to be an unreleased Pixelbook with a ultrathin bezels (potentially the sequel to the first-generation Pixelbook); however, it has yet to emerge as a shipping product. If it is a prank, it is a bit of an odd thing to take the trouble to do.

Or, is it possible that Google shot this commercial some time ago with what it then thought would be the shipping Pixel 3 XL? If so, is it possible that that it then chose to ship the version we now know as the Pixel 3 XL instead? Did it then subsequently revise the advertisement making digital adjustments to reflect the actual shipping product and this alternate version of the ad somehow slipped out? Or is it an Easter Egg? Let us know what you think might be going on in the comments below.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1291 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 12 > Did Google drop a Pixel Easter Egg in its Macauley Culkin ad?
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-12-27 (Update: 2018-12-27)