Super Bowl Retrospecticus: Google’s “Parisian Love”

The Super Bowl is one of the few televised events that cuts across demographic boundaries. Unlike other sporting events whose television ratings largely depend on star/market power, the Super Bowl always gets a huge audience regardless of the teams involved. So it’s not a surprise that it’s the biggest (and most expensive) night of the year for advertising. With that in mind, I introduce the Super Bowl Retrospecticus, where I discuss notable commercials of Super Bowls past. I’m limiting this only to ads I actually remember.

Google was long known as a company who did not advertise. In 2010, they aired their first national commercial, “Parisian Love”, during Super Bowl XLIV.

“Parisian Love” was actually created months before the Super Bowl as part of Google’s “Search Stories”. These involved the intriguing, yet extremely simple concept that people search for things of current relevance to them, and when put together in linear fashion, the search terms tell a story. In the case of “Parisian Love”, it was the tale of a romance starting in Paris. The unseen guy is charming…he misspells Louvre, wants to find out about truffles and Truffaut, and searches for advice to cope with a long-distance relationship. Soft and inviting music plays throughout. We discover that the couple ends up getting married and the final search “how to assemble a crib” puts a heartwarming end to the story (with a baby’s giggle). Elegant, romantic, and beautiful, it was a hit which ranked #4 in ADBOWL 2010.

The success of “Parisian Love” led to Google stepping up its advertising. And Google has done a great job. There was a similarly heartwarming Search Story called “Graduation”. Last year’s “Dear Sophie” was a huge online hit for Google Chrome. The Muppets did a Google+ commercial, and who doesn’t love the Muppets? And I just saw the seriously inspiring “Make It Happen” spot. This is just a small sampling of Google’s awesome commercials/videos, and I’m looking forward to what they’ll have for the Super Bowl.

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Google Tells A Story

Google. It practically runs the world, so there’s really no need for an introduction. Among all the great things Google does, storytelling isn’t one that most people think of. But they excel at it. There was the adorable and incredibly romantic “Parisian Love” spot that aired during Super Bowl XLIV. The heartwarming “Dear Sophie” video for Google Chrome was a viral hit earlier this year. And now, Google Chrome has a new commercial about the rise of Frank Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

It really adds a layer of legitimacy to this ad when you realize these are real people and a real restaurant (which I’m sure will see a big bump in business). Will it convince people to change to Google Chrome? Not necessarily. I feel like people used web browsers based on familiarity, and they’ll use whatever they know. But Google Chrome’s market share is growing. And as someone who also appreciates advertising for the artistic aspects, Google is top-notch, as always.

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