Google’s Emotional Advertising

Planit Agency
September 26, 2012

Back in January the New York Times featured a piece about Google’s foray into emotional advertising.  In moving away from search, Google has also moved away from traditional ads, looking to tell stories with their spots.  These ads can be cute and heartwarming like the Dear Sophie spot that began this trend nearly 18 months ago, or they can be heart wrenching like Coffee.  Either way Google has transformed the web from how many see it, a stoic interface, into a driving force behind our daily lives.

These ads show how truly powerful emotional advertising can be when it is implemented properly.  I don’t know about you but I feel happy, sad, heartbroken, loved, and more while watching these videos and can’t wait until the end to see what happens to the people.  It’s impressive that over the course of 90 seconds or so these videos can cause you to run the full gamut of emotions and become invested in the people featured.

Google’s latest videos are my personal favorites, and they highlight how technology can truly improve one’s life.  The first is about a father and son who enjoy a camping trip in the backyard, using their Galaxy Nexus 7 for everything from guidance to entertainment.  It evokes childhood memories of hanging out with your dad, going camping, and generally being a kid.  It shows off the versatility of the product while showcasing it in a way that is eminently memorable and fun.

My favorite emotional Google advertisement, however, is their newest one: Jess Time.  Over the course of 60 seconds it makes you want to smile, laugh, cry—you name it.  I’ve watched it countless times and can’t get over how little it feels like an advertisement.  That said, it functions incredibly well as an ad, showcasing the wide variety of products Google offers and how they can make your life better, just as they did for Jess and her Dad.

This was undoubtedly the goal.  Google’s Lorraine Twohill, Vice President for Global Marketing said, “As we got bigger, we had more competition, more products, more messages to consumers, so we needed to do a bit more to communicate what these products are and how you can use them.  If we don’t make you cry, we fail.  It’s about emotion, which is bizarre for a tech company.”

Emotional advertising, when properly executed can truly change the way people look at a company or product.  In fact, Roger Dooley of shows us that emotional ads do in fact work. If other companies follow Google’s lead and use emotional ads to promote their products, they too could see success.  Once again though, Google has shown that it can try something new and execute it flawlessly, just as it has in developing its brand and product lines to this point.