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Home / Technology / This Google ad during the Final Four made more than a few pandemic-weary viewers cry

This Google ad during the Final Four made more than a few pandemic-weary viewers cry



Advertising simply starts.

A delicate piano melody plays in the background. The classic white Google search engine dominates the screen. Keyboard clicks ring out when an invisible computer user prints words that have largely defined the pandemic – or rather life – for most people over the past year: quarantine, social distancing, school closure, and lockdown.

But it is what follows that seems to have struck a chord with many. The Google ad was first aired during the NCAA Final Four game on Saturday, and those on social media were quick to notice how it made them “emotional”

; or even “cry” for the message it conveyed.

After the brief but strong reminder of the customs that the virus has taken, the music picks up speed and familiar sounds appear – school bells ring, chatter among a group of people, laughter from a crowd – when words are highlighted and immediately deleted from search fields and Google Calendar. Happy Hour and game dates are no longer virtual, weddings are no longer postponed or the sports seasons are canceled. And a theater and restaurants that appear on Google Maps change from being “closed” to “open.”

It ends with a simple message, also the title of the ad: “Come back to what you love.”

But there is also a call to action: get vaccinated. The latest clips show a user writing the words “covid vaccine near me”, and follow a link to cdc.gov that encourages the public to learn more.

When Amanda Litman, co-founder and CEO of Run for Something, said she was “absolutely furious” that a Google ad made her “tear up,” Marvin Chow, vice president of global marketing at Google, responded quickly.

“Whatever it takes to make us all feel safe,” Chow wrote.

See the ad for yourself:


Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ shannonlarson98.




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