Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Google!

Today being Google’s 14th Birthday, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to discuss Google’s Chrome campaign, “The web is what you make of it”. Overall an incredible campaign, full of beautiful spots each worthy of awards. Produced with ad agency BBH, the Chrome campaign shines a spotlight on individuals and how they made use of the internet. After each touching story, they all end with a simple “name, title”. For example, the Lady Gaga spot ends with “Lady Gaga, Mother Monster”, referring to the pet name she gives to her huge and loyal fan base, “the Little Monsters”. Similarly, the Justin Bieber spot showcases his popularity growth via the internet. The celebrity spots really bring the point home by visually showing the power of the internet. Watching the YouTube view counter start at 0 and then racing past 500 million was a key part.


Google then let a few unknown individuals take the stage, redefining “online relationships” as we know it. One spot named “Coffee” follows a tribute to a couple, compiled by a guy trying to win a girl back. It ends with “Mark Potter, fingers crossed”, a very hopeful message for single people dreaming about the one that got away. For all the romantics out there, I doubt any of us could say no to a coffee invitation with this much effort put into “Reasons to say yes”. If you liked the 2010 Google Super Bowl spot, you will enjoy this sweet ad. There are two spots featuring father-daughter relationships as well, including Dear Sophie, which is my personal favourite out of the entire campaign. A spot named “Jess Time” also touched me personally, focusing on a girl who just left home for university. Her dad makes “Jess Time” to chat with her. Dear Sophie had the most inventive idea behind it, showing a father collecting memories and writing to his daughter over time, planning on sharing everything with her in the future. This spot literally brings me to tears each time I watch it, and is the most powerful one in the whole campaign, if you ask me. This is one of my favourite commercials of all time.

Google also showcased three projects, proving the web has the power to do good on a larger scale. I think the most inspirational one was the “It Gets Better” spot, featuring an initiative to bring strength to gay and lesbian teens by combining videos of all sorts of people ensuring them it will get better. I grew up in a gay community and can only imagine how difficult it must be to grow up being ridiculed. A project with great artistic merit was exhibited in the “Johnny Cash” spot, where fans around the world worked together to create a music video for his last recording. Finally, “Movember” paid tribute to the viral mustache-growing sensation in support of curing prostate cancer.


I think the “Make it Happen” spot really gets to the heart of the campaign message, that anyone can achieve their goal if they put their mind to it, and use the powerful mediums we have available to us. The celebrity, relationship, and project spots showed great examples of what could be done using the internet, but this spot really speaks to each individual, encouraging everyone to pursue their dreams. This inspirational spot focuses less on the internet, and more on the potential that each person has within them.


Aside from the Chrome campaign, I wanted to mention some of the other projects Google has been working on. Google has been collaborating with OK Go on the Chrome experiment called “All is not lost, working with HTML 5 on a Video Dance Messenger. Watch a video about it here. Always innovating, Google gives a sneak peek at their Google Glasses, which turn the whole world into a user interface. This is seriously incredible, worthy of futuristic movies for the next generation.


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