Did Google Waste 3 Million Dollars on That Superbowl Ad?

How ’bout them Saints? :) Nothing like a great comeback story – and if any town deserves – it is New Orleans

As if it wasn’t exciting enough to watch an underdog upset, there was a moment during Sunday’s broadcast where I actually got tears in my eyes like a big baby.

It wasn’t the game.

It was at Google’s Super Bowl ad. 

If you have not seen it – check it out below.

Like MILLIONS of other viewers, I got choked up. In less than 60 seconds, I was moved and the extremely short spot just leaves you saying:


SPOILER ALERT: Did you notice that there were NO actors on camera in the ad? NO voiceover? Heck, there was only ONE PICTURE.  Just words on a computer screen, right?

FACT: YOU could have made this commercial.  There was nothing expensive or technically difficult in there at all.

FYI – CBS charged THREE MILLION dollars for a 30-second ad during the game.  This ad was 52 seconds long.

One of the biggest companies on earth, running one of the most expensive ad spots possible, and you REALLY COULD do this yourself!

Okay, Okay. There are a few missing components that I haven’t covered YET. Let’s talk about a couple of them right now…

First I want to show you EXACTLY where the magic happens in this video. It’s not on the screen at all (Which is why simple videos can be so effective).

It’s in YOUR HEAD.

That’s right. If you thought of love, romance, family, the Eiffel Tower, artworks in the Louvre, a steaming espresso at a cafe, the taste of chocolate…

All of these things were images CONJURED UP in your head by simple words on a screen. What MOVES you is what YOUR OWN IMAGINATION brings to the viewing (Remember falling in love?)…

  • Feature: Google’s search is simple to use.
  • Advantage: Google search has the best results.
  • Benefit: You can even use Google to find LOVE! (Awwww!)

Now, tricking people’s minds into filling in the “gap” in films and videos is one of the most powerful tools you can use.

Obviously, we are nowhere near the size of Google (and never will be), but I was left feeling inspired by this simple video that did a brilliant job of implying benefits (and flavor and experience and even love) without cramming it down your throat or trying too hard to be funny or relevant.

Take Away:  When you are creating presentations, web copy or videos remember this one as an excellent way to say so much, so effectively with so little.