If you follow the publicity campaigns for Google, you may recall that they have a knack for using strong emotions as a way of connecting with their target groups. The most recent ad from the Internet search engine giant is no different. It focuses on the company’s largest and potentially, most important, growing target group, the people of India.
The ad comes off more like a short-film rather than a commercial. Set against the beautiful and colorful backdrops of India and Pakistan, it tells the story of two young boys who were once best friends and later separated by the partition between the two countries. Without giving away any spoilers (yes, it’s an ad you don’t want to know the ending to beforehand), I will say that the ad works on many levels. The piece engages viewers quickly by grabbing their attention with ear-catching sounds, while introducing the audience to characters they can identify with. The viewer gets hooked at once.
WARNING: This video is a real tearjerker.
Reunion, the latest ad from Google runs 3.5 minutes and uses the controversial 1947 partition set up between India and Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule.
Reunion is actually the pilot in a series of videos directed at the Indian market. Fennel, Cricket, Anarkali, and Sugar-free are the titles of the other videos in the campaign, which all contain reoccurring characters. But, Reunion seems to be the runaway success in the series garnering almost 4 million views in only five days. Much of its success is just good storytelling. Storytelling is not only an engaging tool that conveys a message to a target group, but it’s who we are. It’s our past, present, and future. It can also be one of most effective tools in an advertiser’s arsenal.
Who doesn’t love a good story?
People want their stories told, and they want to hear good stories. It’s human nature. For many storytellers, sometimes it’s not a question of what to say, but how to say it. From cave paintings, to books and publishing, to the telegraph, to radio and broadcast television, to Facebook and Twitter, to trendy new apps on the mobile phone, throughout history, society has used and sought new tools to better communicate our stories to others. Here, Google uses a video to not just sell itself to India and Pakistan, but also bring to mind one’s own history, and the potential stories of the many families, friends, and loved ones who could have been separated by the India-Pakistan partition of ‘47.
How will you tell your story?