Paul recently posted the top Super Bowl ads and Google's first foray into the US TV space was a spot that a lot of people are going to remember (and not just because the company - at one point - swore off mass advertising and has finally decided that it might be a good idea).
What interests me about this spot is the fact that it positions Google as a company that lives what it strives to be - the brand that organizes the worlds information. No matter who you are, what you are looking for or any questions that you have, Google can help you find the answer - quickly.
I have friends that work at Google and have heard that they are - for the most part - an engineer driven company. They obsess over numbers, metrics, data and products (a huge step for most agencies and marketers out there). Sometimes, they focus a bit to much on the data side of things and the design gets forgotten.
This time, though. They've created a great balance. As a Google engineer, you've got to be pretty happy with this spot. It showcases the core product (Search) but also a ton of others including Maps, Translation, Wikipedia and Flight tracker - all great applications that Google can help you find. Furthermore, the entire ad is a product shot. How many marketers have secretly craved this and had their agencies tell them that they have to do more and push for the 'big idea?'
What makes the truly ad great, though, is the story.
It's quirky, fun, real and human. It's short and succinct but tells the story of a lifetime.
Sometimes visuals, actors and big scenes wreck spots. The intentions where there but something just doesn't get executed to the full extent. This spot sets the scene and leaves the rest up to the viewer to imagine how the story plays out - how they met at the Cafe, what the girl looks like, where they had the wedding and what will happen next.
And through it all, Google was there. Helping and assisting along the way.
It's been said that brands don't define who they are anymore - Google does. For a long time it was hard to define what Google really did. Was it Search? Or Maps? Or E-Mail? Or Phones?
This spot makes it clear - it's the company that does whatever you need it to help you get where you're going in life.
(...and it also makes for great mash-up material if you're less sentimental about it...)