The Super Bowl is prime time for companies to show off their best in advertising. But what elements of this 0:53 second advertisement in 2010 earned it over 6 million views on YouTube?
The look of the commercial itself is unmistakable: a Google search. Anyone who has performed one will instantly recognize it, reinforcing the brand of the popular search engine. But instead of pulling the usual silly stunts like most Super Bowl ads, Google aimed for the heart of its viewers. The commercial aims to tell a story. It's not directly selling a product: it's selling a series of emotions that make up this modern day fairy tale. There's the peasant boy (presumably American, male college student) courting the princess (presumably French, female beauty), celebrating their wedding (self-explanatory), and living happily ever after (with their baby). All of this is told through a simple set of Google searches.
Of course, if this were a silent commercial, it wouldn't be half as successful. Sound clips aside, an observant ear notices the subtle but brilliant effect of the music. It starts from one quiet, repeated note on the piano, then evolves to a series of simple melodic chords that crescendo, pauses for dramatic effect, and concludes on a final chord that reflects the initial quiet note. The music reflects the pursuit of l'amour.
(for more about the neuroscience of music and emotion, click here)
This Google commercial finds success by connecting strong, positive emotions with a universally familiar search engine. It is a cleverly designed advertisement, the story of the peasant boy as he sweeps the princess off her feet, and we are swept into their 0:53 second tale of love.