Google is a household name; has been for some time now. We’ve even turned “google” into a verb for “searching online” – “Just Google it!” Most people are surprised to find out that Google has never aired a single commercial for their popular search engine.
Their first ad ever aired during Super Bowl 44 (that’s in 2010). I would be willing to bet that it was the cheapest to produce out of all the commercials that night, yet for me, it was the most effective.
It really is remarkable how much imagery was set off in my head by such a seemingly simple advertisement. By showing us 12 simple live keyword searches, Google managed to tell us an entire love story, from beginning to happy ending.
If you weren’t one of the 106 million people that watched the game, or if you just want to watch it again, you can follow along here.
“Study abroad in Paris“ – We start off with a (presumably) young male looking for a way to study abroad. What better place to start than Google?
“Cafés near the Louvre“ – We assume he’s found the right place to study, has just gotten off the plane, and is looking for a place to relax near the Louvre in Paris. Oh, he’s found a place called the cabaret. That sounds nice. Maybe he’ll have a coffee and a croissant. I bet it’s nice outside.
(Did you notice he misspells Louvre – ‘Loo’? It ads a bit of realism to it.)
“Translate ‘tu es trés mignon’“ – A french girl has come up to our young student and said, “Tu es trés mignon.” He hasn’t got a clue what that means. Thanks to Google, he’s found out what it means. A French girl thinks he’s very cute?! What a great first day in Paris!
“Impress a French girl“ – Now that he knows she likes him, what is he going to do to impress her? What better way to find out than with Google?
“Chocolate shops in Paris France” – Thanks to Google, he’s found out that French girls love nothing more than chocolate. Thanks to the advice from Google, he finds “Cacao et Chocolate,” where the girl behind the counter tells him that a French girl’s favorite thing in the world is a truffle. He had better get her a truffle!
“What are truffles?“ – A what? A truffle? What the heck is a truffle?! Google to the rescue.
“Who is Truffaut“ – Since he’s new to Paris, and he’s not very fluent in French, our young student misunderstands the clerk at Cacao et Chocolat. A French girl’s favorite thing isn’t a truffle at all (silly Americans)! It’s the influential French film maker, François Truffaut! And luckily, “Day For Night” is her favorite film!
“Long distance relationship advice“ – Our young French girl was obviously impressed by our young student’s knowledge of French New Wave film. They both know it’ll be hard, but they’re determined to make it work.
“Jobs in Paris“ – Our two long distance love birds have suffered through several semesters away from each other. Graduation is only a few short months away. It’s time to start searching for jobs in Paris.
“DL 8601” – Our student is nervous. This is a big step. He checks his flight status to make sure everything is on time and ready to go.
Interestingly, this search term was changed from the original that aired on YouTube several months ago. The original search term was “AA 120.” If you notice the results, there are two hits for audio equipment. Did Google change the search term to get rid of irrelevant results? I think so.
“Churches in Paris“ – Their patience has paid off. He’s asked her father for permission, and now it’s time to find the right place. Not just any place will do. Ah, the Paoisse Saint Léon. A beautiful church on Place du Cardinal Amette. Perfect for this budding couple. They even have a website where they can see pictures of previous weddings online, from the comfort of their Paris flat.
“How to assemble a crib“ – The Paoisse Saint Léon on Place du Cardinal Amette was a beautiful ceremony. The newly weds immediately left for their honeymoon and began growing their family. There’s only one problem, he’s not very mechanically inclined. Thank God for Google!
Google told us this entire story without actually saying anything. All of this imagery was portrayed by the simple use of searching for everyday things online via their search engine. I’m sure this ad wasn’t made to turn any Bing or Yahoo users into avid Google followers, but what it did do was evoke an emotional response from Google’s already established users to make sure they weren’t going anywhere.
Overall, the ad was simple and well put together. It wasn’t the normal, over the top, cute animals talking, unfunny celebrity cameo garbage we normally get for a Super Bowl commercial.
This ad was only one in the series of videos made by Google called “Search Stories,” which you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/searchstories. they’re all similar to this, with subjects ranging from starting high school to fixing pot holes, but this one was definitely the most heart warming.
This ad had class, and I dug it.