Google’s new father-son ad will make you cringe
A journey from incredibly touching ad to horribly tone-deaf
Take 1: Lover
On Nov 19, 2009, Google posted an ad to Youtube titled Parisian Love. It encapsulated all the emotional highs and lows of living with Google Search. It is one of tech’s best ads ever made.
The beauty of this ad was that it was not presumptuous. It painted a picture of a person looking for love. All the self-doubt and excitement of finally meeting their partner coming to a crescendo with the adorable finale.
Take 2: Widower
Ten years later, in 2020, Google tried to recreate this same feeling with ‘Loretta’, even using the leitmotif from the original. The ad tugged on the same heartstrings while highlighting Google’s new Google Assistant suggesting memories.
This ad is not as touching as the first. ‘Parisian Love’s narrative, minimal presentation, and hesitant cursor that feels much more realistic. With ‘Loretta’, I’m almost saddened by the image of a man reminiscing with a slab of plastic and glass. What’s more is that I don’t buy it as something a real person would do, even with the adorable voice-over.
Even with these complaints, I still think it’s a great piece of storytelling. Google’s presence, though more pronounced and unnatural, is still humble and supportive of the old man. It’s an effective ad with a touching message.
Take 3: Helicopter
This year, the company decided on another interpretation of the ”family-relationships-facilitated-by-Google” formula: Father-son bonding. Except… Well, you should see it for yourself…