So word on the street is that Google ended up debuting its Search Stories campaign on TV during Super Bowl Sunday. The effort's darling is the classic American-in-Paris love story, told in a new -- and I'd say rather sublime -- way: with search results and ambient sounds.
It goes against typical Super Bowl lore that the work wasn't new; I covered it in December, when it had already been circulating the 'net for a month, seizing hearts in a kind of sleeper effect.
From Eric Schmidt:
We didn't set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was simply to create a series of short online videos about our products and our users, and how they interact. But we liked this video so much, and it's had such a positive reaction on YouTube, that we decided to share it with a wider audience.
It may come off pointless or even counterproductive for Google to run an ad for its search service, which already dominates over 70% of US searches, particularly when it's got Chrome to promote, plus Nexus One, plus the prospective tablet that received absolutely no love in the shadow of Apple's iPad.
But I'd say it was a good call: it's a reminder that "search" is now the world's "official language." It's a skill that has to be taught if you want to develop a mastery, and the ad demonstrates clearly how the simple act of running searches can "teach" you maximize the likelihood you'll find what you're looking for -- even if the goal is unforeseen and intangible, like love or meaningful long-term relationships.
More importantly, it positions Google as the "owner" of this language. Search isn't really about newer, faster technology. It's about connecting people -- we, the creators and curators and consumers of data -- in useful, intuitive and compelling ways.
That it's already been parodied in the gaudiest way imaginable only strengthens this position: isn't it true that in the process of learning a language, it's always the dirtiest elements that resonate best? =P
If you have a sec, read Robin Sloan's take on telling stories with interfaces, inspired by the "Parisian Love" piece and the lovely memes that came before it.