Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 9th, 2010

Google’s Super Bowl XLIV Ad: Romanticizing Search (with video evidence)

The Super Bowl is practically a national holiday – a record-shattering 106.5 million people tuning in this year, according to some guy named Nielsen, to watch the New Orleans Saints create NFL history. Over the years, there are just as many people who tune for the big game as they do for the commercials. So it came as no surprise that Google finally took advantage of the exposure and ran their first Super Bowl ad on Sunday.

Google’s Super Bowl XLIV ad, appropriately named “Parisian Love”, ran during the third quarter and featured a ‘love story’ highlighting Google’s local search offerings by showing viewers search results. The commercial began with a search for “study abroad paris france” and follows the user through a basic search. The subsequent searches walk the viewer through this user’s life and demonstrates how Google can actually have an effect on everyday life. Google’s very own Eric Schmidt tweeted up some hype for their debut, stating quite appropriately that "hell has indeed frozen over". Watch all 53 seconds of Google's Super Bowl XLIV ad again below:

"Parisian Love"

Almost made you cry, didn’t it?! They certainly hit an emotional bullseye for most viewers and put some romance in their search. This is actually not a made-for-Super-Bowl ad. The ad originally debuted last November on Google’s “Search Stories” YouTube channel, which means the beyond the $3M it took to RSVP the spot, Google’s tear-jerker was already paid for. And production is where Super Bowl commercials truly get expensive.

"Are We Not All Men?"

Surprisingly, this is the first Google Super Bowl advert, but I doubt it will be the last. As much parity as there is in sports, you can see it in other cultural arenas. While Google’s empire has ripped large fists of ad dollars from the angry hands of television executives, Google now is putting them back in. Hell has indeed frozen over, Eric Schmidt. Let's just be hopeful that those impatient hands are still not smudged with the orange film of Doritos.

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