A Simple Visual Trick Shows Google’s Evolution From Search Engine to Cellphones

Brand's hardware on display in Droga5 work

The Google search bar is evolving yet again. You might say it's growing up. Or maybe it's growing out.

A new spot for Pixel, Google's first self-branded smartphone, puts the iconic white strip front and center to show the search-engine-now-hardware company is moving closer than ever before to compete head-on with other smartphone powerhouses. (Think Apple.)

In the first film in a series created by Droga5, the search bar slowly reshapes itself from the long and narrow bar into a tall and sleek body. The new phone was first teased last month in a similar but much more minimalist spot promoting the Oct. 4 launch date.

"It has enabled people to get answers to any question, converse with faraway friends and find their way to remote locations—or just their way home," a Droga5 spokesperson said in an email. "It's been the focal point of many great adventures, as well as daily life. And now, the company that organized the world's information is turning its attention to the most important device in your life: your phone. For the first time ever, all the power and possibilities of Google are now in the palm of your hand."

The campaign, which launched Tuesday, is rolling out across the six major markets where the phone will first be available: the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, India and the United Kingdom. Google also launched its first 24-hour Snapchat takeover, which allows users to view more than 20 custom videos on Snapchat's Discover feature.

During Google's launch event Tuesday for the Pixel, a VR headset and several other devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the time is finally right for the company to enter the product space by bringing together Google's artificial intelligence software with a sleekly designed hardware.

"We are evolving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," Pichai said.