Google Super Bowl Ad

By Erik Qualman

While there were mixed emotions about Google’s Parisian Super Bowl ad as a whole it seems to have been received very positively. Some of the critical feedback centered around the fact that it didn’t have the funny punch line or that “AHA” moment, rather it was simply a nice commercial. One thing Google did get right though is that the commercial works without sound. This is very important for the Super Bowl. Many people watch the Super Bowl at large parties, bars, etc. that either don’t have sound or it’s tough to hear over the cacophony of noise. So, even though Google is new to the Super Bowl commercial business, other major brands should learn a lesson from Google, specifically does the commercial work without sound? If it doesn’t your company may have just flushed $2.6 million down the drain.

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12 responses to “Google Super Bowl Ad

  1. Ever since I saw this ad, I have shared it with many people on facebook and my networks. Needless to say, this ad ellicits a deep emotional response from many people.
    While Google clearly does not need this ad to remind people to use it, I believe this ad resounds the effect Google has on our lives. Similar to our morning cup of coffee or using deodorant, google has become a habit today.
    What was the comment by most of the people who viewed it on my network? “I cant remember what life was like before Google.”
    I think this is the sentiment that Google was going after through this ad.

  2. While I enjoyed the commercial, is this new for Google? They have several ads similar to this format on YouTube for months which create a story through searching Google (“SearchStories”). This ad was one of them posted in November of 2009. This was not specifically made for the Super Bowl with audio being something they factored.

    Sound is typically an important emotional driver. It creates the mood in which the visuals often respond. While I see the “no audio” concepts having their place, you often would like to tie your brand to an emotion which can often drive the use of the product.

    The showing ad in the third quarter is not a time when most ppl have the ability to read I would think. But by then I’m sure many are passing into the emotional cycle of their drinking. 😉

    It is a great ad and I do like the SearchStory concept.

  3. Not only was the ad without sound– it was without ads! The real search engine results have ads in them. You can see the real search results here:

  4. This was a fantastic Ad. It didn’t take tens of millions to produce and the message wasn’t over-shadowed by some over-exposed celebrity (Manning). Instead they quietly created a brilliant example of one of the highest tenants in advertising concept: Make the medium the message. In this case, the medium wasn’t TV, it was google, turning your TV into your computer monitor by mentally placing each of in a search state of mind.

  5. What are your thoughts of the launch today of the Google Buzz mashup option? It was announced through my Google Mail account.

  6. Most of my video’s work without sound. Not much choice, there’s no sound on them anyway half the time. lol

  7. Out of all the super-bowl commercials, this was my favorite. It was really appealing, the way it wasn’t over the top and really displayed the power of Google.

    • Justin:

      Good point on it being able to display the benefit of the product = power of Google, rather than just trying to be funny.

  8. I have mixed feelings over the commercial. While I do love the idea itself, I can’t help but get a stalker type feeling from it.

  9. I didn’t think about that but that’s a great point. Leads me to think about what other types of commercials or things you need to create that are effective without sound.

    I’m still asking myself though how many people need a reminder that they can use google to search for just about anything? Yes I get the overall message, search engine for life and such but does this ad drive someone to use google more? Maybe I’m missing the point…

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