Never believe what you see in online ads and television commercials. Have you ever seen a breakfast cereal commercial? It looks delicious, but that’s not really milk you see in the bowl—a common replacement is glue, as it won’t make the cereal soggy for photos. Lest anyone need a reminder that what you see might not actually be what it purports to be, Huawei has once again been ‘caught’ using an image take with a DSLR camera to demonstrate one its smartphone cameras.
The latest incident involves an ad in Egypt for the company’s Nova 3 handset. It features two central characters, one of which is actress Sarah Elshamy. In the ad, her presumed boyfriend is attempting to take a selfie with the Nova 3 as she rushes to put makeup on. He snaps the pic before she has a chance, and then the ad shows a still shot of the couple all dolled up and looking fantastic.
The ad is supposed to demonstrate the artificial intelligence capabilities of the camera on the Nova 3. However, the still shot was not actually taken with the phone, as the pic tries to imply. Elshamy inadvertently revealed as much on her Instagram account where she posted a series of behind-the-scenes images from the ad campaign.
In one of the pictures (which has since been deleted), we see the couple posing for the photo in front of what looks to be an expensive DSLR camera. The supposed boyfriend has his arm outstretched as if holding the Nova 3 for a selfie, only there is no phone in his hand—his bare hand extends out of the frame, but is clearly visible in the behind-the-scene photo.
Is this clever marketing or a deceptive representation of the Nova 3? That is up for debate, though either way, this is not the first time that Huawei has done something like this. Back in 2016, Huawei used a DSLR to showcase the photo taking capabilities of its P9, for which it later apologized.
“The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community. We recognize though that we should have been clearer with the captions for this image. It was never our intention to mislead,” Huawei said at the time.
We’ll have to wait and see if Huawei issues a similar statement for the Nova 3 ad.