By Craig Patterson
Google has launched a unique multi-level pop-up in downtown Toronto that is a throwback to the traditional record store. It’s the first pop-up of its kind for Google in Canada. The new ‘Pixel Records’ pop-up is being hosted at 202 Queen Street West from Tuesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 2 from 11:00am-8:00pm daily.
The interactive space showcases Google’s Pixel 3 mobile device. Upon arrival, guests are handed a Pixel 3 and are then provided the opportunity to walk through the four-floor venue to try it out. Each of the floors contains photo-opportunities in an Instagram-worthy space which proved to be a hit amongst attendees during a pre-launch event held on the evening of November 26.
Visitors can take a no-pressure self-guided tour where they may try out the phone in a variety of different environments. Some rooms are rather dark, and photos are encouraged in order to showcase Pixel 3’s ‘night sight’ feature which brightens up photos. The phone also has other remarkable capabilities such as ‘portrait’ mode, which can make a simple headshot appear to be professionally taken.
Below: Before and after, using Google Pixel 3’s ‘night sight’ camera feature. Photos: Craig Patterson.
The Google Pixel 3 is powered by artificial intelligence to create ‘more helpful, thoughtful and enjoyable experiences’, according to the company. The phone’s camera uses artificial intelligence to ensure photographs taken are exceptional, as well as Google Assistant capabilities.
At the pop-up, there’s also a chance to win a Google Pixel 3 phone. On the top level of the pop-up, visitors may select from a collection of CD cases, each of which has different prizes, some of which are Pixel 3 phones.
The aim of the Google pop-up is to get visitors to interact with the devices, providing education with the ability to test the product in a memorable environment. In some respects, such brand activations could be considered the future of brick-and-mortar retail for many brands — the Google pop-up isn’t there to sell product in store, rather it is a show space that could lead to product purchases online, or in a retailer carrying the devices.
Five cities in the United States will also see Google open Pixel 3 pop-ups, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta.
Google has been hosting pop-ups for its products and this fall, its focus is on Pixel 3. Google has also opened temporary ‘Google Hardware Stores’ in New York City and Chicago (running through to the end of December). Previous brand activations focused on Google Home and Assistant.
Google selected the multi-level commercial building at 202 Queen Street West, which has housed several unique pop-ups over the past 14 months or so. The 3,000 square foot retail space, located a short walk from the Osgoode TTC subway station, formerly housed hat brand New Era’s Canadian flagship and most recently has facilitated temporary brand activation for brands such as X-Box and Uniqlo. Last year we featured 202 Queen Street West in Retail Insider, and retailers/companies interested in renting the space on a short-term or long-term basis may contact broker/owner Joseph Gatto of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
Joseph Gatto: Office: (416) 925-9191, Cell: 416-723-6081