Occasionally technology can surprise the living s%&t out of you and make you feel totally connected – to your inner most human – by dialing up the emotion and forgetting all else. Google’s recent advertising and YouTube spots, “Dear Sophie” and “It Gets Better,” illustrate the potential to sell a story better than ever before.
“Dear Sophie” tells a dad’s story of the life and times of his daughter, Sophie, through the prism/functionality of the Chrome browser. It is nimble, poetic and sensitive. It is more a scrapbook than a piece of creative, just as memories are almost always more emotional screen grabs than historical playbacks. The spot shows Sophie as a dynamic life force and growing through life stages right before our eyes, just as Google has.
Ultimately, “Dear Sophie” is supremely moving, touching and filled with heart. All the more amazing? This is a commercial for nothing more than a web browser. Not bad for a company that refused to do commercials of any kind up to this point.
The spot Google created for the “It Gets Better” project, an organization whose mission is to prevent/end teen gay, lesbian, and trans-gender suicide by providing a context full of life experiential hope. It is real, if not raw, and frames the promise of “life getting better” by a breadth of people who have “lived the life and earned the right” to share the message of “it gets better”. Pro-social activist “celebrities” including Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert and Woody from Toy Story are featured in the spot.
It is hard to imagine Google telling its story of human engagement, purpose and information clarity better than through these emotionally rich, wonderfully framed spots. Sure, it is a risky way of telling a functional superiority story – the things Chrome does – but if your name is Google and your mission is to change how the world gets information, how do you not put it all out there?