The search behind a foreign love: Google’s first Super Bowl commercial

Even though it’s not common for Google to appear on TV, in 2010 they created a one-minute video with a powerful meaning. With over a million views on YouTube they decided to make a debut on the Super Bowl. Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) explained further the original idea in the company’s Official Blog:  “Our goal was simply to create a series of short online videos about our products and our users, and how they interact. But we liked this video so much, and it’s had such a positive reaction on YouTube, that we decided to share it with a wider audience”.

Parisian love” portrays a romantic story between an American guy and a French girl through Google searches.The commercial only shows a search window and the several questions the guy typed before and after they met.

Google Search Anatomy of a foreign love:

1. Studying in a different country: the “Parisian Love” commercial starts with a simple “study abroad paris“, followed by “cafes near the louve” (to which Google corrects the misspelled word to “Louvre“). I believe that typing this word incorrectly was a genius thing to do. It shows how this search engine is much more than just that. How many times haven’t we typed a word on Google just to check the spelling of it? (I do it constantly, since my first language is Spanish and I have a pet peeve with misspelled words, no matter the language).

2. The flirting phase: next, the guy searches for a translation followed by “impress a french girl“. Google now becomes the friend that teases you when you have a crush, but ends up giving you a few tips.

3. The action plan: “chocolate shops paris france“, “what are truffles“, and “who is truffaut” show part of the dating phase.

4. The real action: the American guy and the French girl end up in a relationship. In this part we can see how Google now besides a friend, is also seen as a therapist that gives guidance when he searches for “long distance relationship advice“. Personally, I believe that this type of relationship is only successful when there is something to look up to together, which is what happened. He searches for “jobs in paris” and checks his “AA120” flight status.

5. The happily ever after: the guy moves to France and they search for “churches in paris“, meaning they got married. The ad finalizes with “how to assemble a crib” and the laugh of a baby, ending with the words “SEARCH ON”

This commercial was not made by an external agency. Instead, Google made an in-house project and recruited five talented students (from around 400 applications) that were in ad and design schools.

The ad is simple but shows the different ways in which we can use Google. For instance, by the time the video was released not many people knew they could type their flight number and Google will give them the flight status. Another nice feature of the video is that with every search there is a sound effect that helps our imaginations elaborate this love tale.

The company took a relatively safe risk by entering the Super Bowl commercial world to reach a larger audience. For many years they’ve refused to advertise themselves on TV but this allowed them to stand out from the crowd precisely because they usually do not do commercials and took everyone by surprise. Overall, it’s a short video that captures our attention through well done storytelling. It also teaches us about some features this search engine has. More importantly, it shows how Google is a big part of our daily lives, something that nowadays no one can deny.

For more information use the following links:

Super Bowl ad breaks Google’s TV silence – CNN Money

Meet the Google 5, the team behind “Parisian Love” Super Bowl Spot – Ad Age

The 19 best Super Bowl ads of all time – Time

Love and the Super Bowl – Google Official Blog

How to get what you want: using Google properly – The Telegraph

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