Google held its fall product launch event in New York. There were some good bits, some great bits, and there was a bit that was a head-scratcher. It involved famous photographer Annie Leibovitz, who was invited on stage to talk about the Pixel 4 phone and its photography capabilities. It was a bit of a head-scratcher to see this famous and iconic photographer on stage, showing a level of disinterest and enthusiasm. Google paid her a lot of money to Leibovitz to use the phone. The question is: How much?
“I just glided with it and used and really just enjoyed taking pictures with it,” she said on stage, stringing words together that conveyed absolutely nothing. “Towards the end of work we were doing, I felt like I was just beginning to sort of get it, and I just let the camera do the work.”
This onstage diarrhea of vapidity continued for a few minutes. If you wanted to know about Pixel 4 and its features and capabilities, you weren’t going to get them onstage. At least not from her. Matthew Panzarino, editor of TechCrunch put it best when he tweeted, “One of the worst celeb endorsement segments I’ve seen. Guessing she didn’t want to attend any rehearsals.” It’s pretty clear that Leibovitz, trying to dig out of her past financial issues, is adopting a gun-for-hire approach to everything — and rather than get me excited me about the Pixel 4, the just-send-me-a-check attitude on display here was just depressing.
Full disclosure: I paid good money for her Masterclass lessons, and instead, I got hours of her talking about herself, her old photos, and nary a moment of knowledge imparted to those of us who were eager to learn from the master. Instead, what we saw was an icon trading their name and brand for a few dollars more.