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”
Tell me why the Google ad for the covid vaccine just made me emotional during this Final Four game
– # 1 Leia Fan Account (@FoxtrotMcCoy) April 3, 2021
Am I the only one watching a Google ad during the Final Four and crying??!? Wow!
– Scott Rains (@scottrains) April 4, 2021
I did not expect a Google ad to make me feel emotional during a Final Four game, but what are the rules even longer?
– aimee (@ LAimee76) April 3, 2021
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ shannonlarson98.