Super Bowl SearchStories

8 Feb

This is what I know about Super Bowl Sunday: it is the only time I will 1) proactively watch football and 2) proactively watch ads. I’m not anti-football. I’m just not that into it (unless, of course, the Bears are playing…then I’m moderately more interested). I knew that the Colts were playing the Saints, that Peyton Manning is the Colts QB and former Trojan Reggie Bush plays for the Saints (and dates Kim Kardashian).

After reading an article in the New York Times on Sunday morning, I was very excited about the possibility of seeing an ad for Google during the 3rd quarter. According to the article, Google makes more money from advertising than any other media company in the world, but has not traditionally promoted it’s own brand. I absolutely loved the “search story” that told, through search queries, how a boy goes to study abroad in Paris, falls in love, moves to Paris, gets married and has a baby. Beautiful, simple, and less than a minute. In addition to demonstrating Google’s search capabilities, the ad speaks directly to how we can tell life stories through information searches.

There are currently seven Google SearchStory ads on YouTube, each detailing a different emotionally-charged story while highlighting how Google allows the story to unfold. Here is an ad about planning a road trip that does an amazing job of showing Google Map features:

Examining the Super Bowl as an institutional apparatus that creates an intense escalation of media activities across industries, the various advertisements, sports commentator descriptions, pre-game and halftime show antics surrounding celebrities, and overall emphasis on American patriotism seem to convey distinct messages to the television and online audiences. As Scott Sles noted in his blog post that CBS denied running an ad by the gay dating site ManCrunch, much can be suggested about the interaction between television broadcasting, programming and cultural values. Google’s ad — along with ads for Vizio’s Internet Apps and the infamous domain site — show the prominence of brand marketing strategies for online services across other media. As the Super Bowl is the most watched television show each year, our cultural values are moving online. Google’s slogan says it all: “search on.” Use your tv to search the Internet. Use Google for planning your life. Use YouTube, Flickr and Twitter to share your stories (through Vizio’s service, of course). Just as the television served as information’s gateway, now TV is telling us to go online.

And just for fun, here was my other favorite Super Bowl ad. Leave it to the Simpsons (with Coke as a sponsor) to tackle the poor economy in a lighthearted, relevant way. (Yes, I used “tackle” on purpose.)

2 Responses to “Super Bowl SearchStories”

  1. scottsles February 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    The Simpson’s ad was one of my favorites too!

    And thanks for sharing that other Google ad, what a fantastic campaign.


  1. 10 Things I Like About the Internet: April 14th, 2010 Edition « Aye Blog - April 14, 2010

    […] absolutely loved Google’s SearchStory ad that aired during the Super Bowl. Now, YouTube has a channel where you can create your own Search […]

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