Samsung and Google are touting the selfie-taking potential of their new Galaxy Z Flip 4 device on one of the biggest out-of-home stages in the country: Times Square. And the ongoing campaign is turning to an artist’s timeless catalog to help drive the message home.

Affixed to the Broadway-facing side of the New York Marriott Marquis hotel, the massive billboard featured an animated version of Chris “Ludacris” Bridges—who lent his voice, likeness and album imagery for the project—with the pitbull featured on the cover of his 2001 album, Word of Mouf. The billboard, which featured the animated image for one day only, was created by Cekai and in partnership with Universal Music Group.

After the mischievous pooch makes a disastrous attempt at taking a selfie with a competitor’s smartphone, the prolific rapper, actor and entrepreneur’s avatar emerges to correct the gaffe by using the phone’s Google Assistant feature to play his song “Stand Up,” a nod to the phone’s standing feature, which he then uses to conveniently capture the perfect hands-free selfies.  

The song will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023 and has been used previously in the brands’ television campaign. 

“When I recorded ‘Stand Up’ I don’t think I looked 20 years into the future to where it would be, and how relevant it would still be to this day,” Bridges told Adweek. “So I’m humbled and very thankful.” 

The multi-hyphenate told Adweek that the stars aligned for the synergistic project. He was already working with Google on its #BlackOwnedFriday campaign when the brand approached him to use the classic song for the Galaxy campaign.

“Google loved the idea of doing the larger-than-life 3D billboard,” he said. “And because the phone stands up, it [was] synonymous with why they chose the song, and I’m very thankful that they did.” 


The billboard—which ran for one day only on Dec. 10 to support the campaign—was on-brand for the artist, who has used animation and fun, over-the-top imagery in his videos and album covers dating back to the beginning of his two decadeslong career and incorporated it into last month’s Charles Todd-directed video for #BlackOwnedFriday, in which he co-stars with rapper Flo Milli.  

“I’m a very animated person,” he told Adweek. “So I was excited because that’s the bubble and world that I like to live in.” 

Looking back to move forward

Adrienne Lofton, Google’s vp, global brand marketing, explained to Adweek how the brand and Samsung have leaned into using content from and inspired by the ’90s and early aughts—a time when flip phones were most prevalent—to educate younger consumers on the benefits of a foldable phone in the new era.  

“Google and Samsung have been partners in bringing powerful storytelling into the market for some time now,” said Lofton. “Samsung has always pushed into new mobile form factors like foldables, and with our powerful software, together we continue to reimagine what people love about the flip experience.”

Over the past year, the brand has relied on a blend of nostalgia and today’s modern digital identity. Lofton points to recent work with the Lawrence Brothers, which also highlighted the Google Assistant.

“That central idea carried through to our partnership with Ludacris and his Y2K hit ‘Stand Up.’ We collaborated with Ludacris to help show people why they should switch to an Android-powered foldable and utilized the core idea ‘Stand Up’ to remind consumers that our products are built to allow you to easily do the things you love—including the hands-free selfie, which is one of the most innovative yet useful use cases for the product.”  

To amplify the partnership with Ludacris, the brand released behind-the-scenes footage of the billboard’s creation featuring the artist and Cekai’s executive producer, Jimmy Kitaji. It’s currently running across social channels for the brand, the artist and Android.  

“We believe that choice and helpfulness is critical to the Android ecosystem and the Google apps and services offered within it,” said Lofton. “The way we’re able to bring these unique experiences to life inside of Samsung devices is our goal. Finding new ways to highlight how our products get you closer to the people and things you love most is the bar we’ve set with our partner Samsung, and we’re just getting started in that journey.”  

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