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Grammys 2019: Ariana Grande and Donald Glover show up only in cartoon ads

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Sunday night during the Grammys, awards were handed out. But during the commercial breaks, Wiz Khalifa ate Oreos with his son, Serena Williams drove a fancy car, and Ariana Grande’s disembodied head sang “7 rings,” the song that Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich supposedly barred her from performing onstage, in a new commercial for Apple’s Memoji feature.

“Look at my neck!” the cartoon Ariana Grande ordered, despite not having a neck. Similar commercials were made featuring the Grammy-nominated country duo Florida Georgia Line and 2018 Best New Artist nominee Khalid. The real Ariana Grande won best pop vocal album for Sweetener, and wore a Cinderella ball gown to sit on the floor of her own house.

But what exactly is this ad even for? What are these little cartoon heads?

Memoji is an iteration on Animoji, the feature that allowed iPhone X owners to put their own voices into an array of different animal heads (or the poop emoji). These are customized Animojis that are supposed to look like the sender — essentially the same thing as Snapchat’s Bitmoji, except they move. They’re only available on the four latest iPhones — X, XS, XS Max, and XR — because they require Apple’s relatively new TrueDepth camera tech to do accurate face mapping. You can send videos up to 30 seconds long of your Memoji in iMessage, if that seems more fun than a typical voice note.

Donald Glover, who won Song of the Year and Record of the Year for his single “This is America,” released under his musical moniker Childish Gambino, also stayed home from the ceremony. He appeared only briefly, in a prerecorded clip already released on his Instagram, as himself and as an animated version of himself having a dance battle with each other in a commercial for Google’s Playmoji feature. Playmoji’s Playground app was originally called AR Stickers, and uses Google’s augmented reality tech to put dancing celebrities into photos and videos taken with any of its Pixel phones. Google is particularly proud of how lifelike Playmoji are, emphasizing that they cast shadows and interact with light in realistic ways, and that they can even “[react] to your facial expressions in real time thanks to machine learning.”

(Both are slightly better than Samsung’s AR Emoji, which debuted in February 2018 and were described by The Verge’s Sam Byford as “kind of horrifying.”)

Trade publication AdAge called the similar commercials an “ad duel,” citing one tweet that asked, “Am I the only one who was unaware of a great arms race in emoji tech?” These are sort of violent and dramatic metaphors (which I have echoed in my own subheadline solely because looking at two equally bizarre primetime commercials as a showdown between tech giants can be sort of fun on a Monday).

Google has talked up the Pixel’s augmented reality and creativity features quite a bit, and presumably spent a pretty big chunk of change on the rights to Donald Glover’s … body and movements (both are subject to copyright) in addition to the rights to his unreleased song “Human Sacrifice” plus however much he charges for his time. The incentive to shell out for the best emoji tech and a super-cool celebrity affiliation seems pretty obvious: Globally, most people own Android phones, but in the US, 82 percent of teenagers prefer the iPhone.

Apple already has cultural clout and a long-standing affiliation with the music industry, which makes its Grammys commercials kind of redundant and maybe a little braggy — in that way, “7 rings” is an appropriately showy, bullet-point-boast choice of song! But the various Ariana Grande Memoji shown off in the ad don’t particularly look like her, and it’s just kind of absurd that a neckless blob talking about its “gleaming skin” is what America had to endure in the place of a live performance by Ariana Grande. In this battle, I have to say, I can’t choose a winner. (Actually, I can, and it’s Kacey Musgraves!)

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26 Photos Proving That Happiness Is Not About iPhones

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Some people are chasing their future so fast that they stop noticing how great their lives today actually are. And truly happy people don’t need to chase anything: they are happy to have a comfortable bed, a loyal friend who is always there for them, a present from their grandmother, and for every small achievement on their life path.

These people are more effective than any coach at teaching us to be happy right here and right now and we at Bright Side were inspired by their ability to be happy no matter what.

1. His person just got home after a few months of work. That’s the look of pure happiness.

2. Soap bubbles are absolutely necessary for a happy childhood.

3. These 4 guys agree.

4. “My son has struggled with autism, Tourette’s, agoraphobia, severe anxiety, and OCD. He found solace in writing and just published his book on Amazon! Here he is giving a copy to one of his teachers that helped him along the way.”

5. “The photo my sister sent me of her dog and the new puppy they just got”

6. “My mom made my girls one Pom-Pom rug each. They took 80 hours, 320 Pom-Poms, and she let them choose their favorite colors. Just missed Christmas, but they are ecstatic nevertheless.”

7. “After years of sleeping on the floor and then on an air mattress, I finally own a bed!!! ”

8. I call this one “Pure Happiness.”

9. “My niece has always loved pumpkins. Today, we took her to a pumpkin farm for the first time…”

10. “10 months ago I decided to start learning to love myself. I moved states, got a new job, and have surrounded myself with amazing friends (some new & old). This photo has captured exactly how I feel… Pure happiness! I am so proud”

11. “My wife captured a moment between my daughter and I on the train while she was ‘booping’ my nose with hers. Pure happiness.”

12. “Makes me weak in the knees to see the happiness in my 8-year-old yellow Lab’s eyes, as well as the happiness in the eyes of my 81-year-old Mom.”

13. He is genuinely happy.

14. When your friend is with you and you’re happy:

15. Weee… that was fun.

16. With age, people are more likely to find harmony with themselves and with the world.

17. “My boyfriend got me a lemur experience for my birthday!”

18. Snow. This is all these guys need to be happy.

19. There is no such thing as pure happiness… Or is there?

20. “My mother had wanted a miniature poodle for over 30 years. This is the day Zoe came home.”

21. “My dad got married this past weekend after being single for 13 years and raising 3 girls alone. This is what happiness looks like.”

22. “Here’s another shot of my 101-year-old grandfather with our new puppy! This is pure joy if I’ve ever seen it!”

23. “Me and my girlfriend were in a car accident in which her arm had to be amputated. A week later we adopted Lola, I don’t know who’s happier… I’m going with Lola.”

24. “After an 8 month apprenticeship, and numerous clean downs and set ups, this is me doing my first tattoo on some fake skin. It is what it is but I couldn’t be happier. I earned this.”

25. “My parents split up when I was a baby. Even though they didn’t get along, they maintained a healthy relationship so they could equally raise me. This is our first picture together in a decade. I’m thankful to be proof that parents who are separated can still work together.”

26. Happiness is a state of mind.

Which of these photos seems the most uplifting to you?

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Read Viral Immunity: A 10-Step Plan to Enhance Your Immunity Against Viral Disease Using Natural

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Dan Brock’s Viral Traffic Optimizer | Dan Brock’s Viral Traffic Optimizer

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