Google's Super Bowl ad

Building loyalty when you're a monopoly.

An image of a football

This past weekend’s Super Bowl might be remembered more for Google’s tearjerker of an ad than the game. In it, “a man reminisces about the love of his life with a little help from Google,” according to the company’s description. The ad struck a cord. It was voted “best ad” in the Super Bowl line up. Twitter was flooded with the tears of hard-core football fans who, “damn it, don’t like to cry during games.”

What is the strategy behind this storytelling?

Picking the ad apart, it works on two levels. On one level it shows how AI can help someone remember. The assumption made by almost everyone (according to social media commentary) is that the man suffers from dementia. Without coming out and blatantly saying, “Google can help your grandfather with his dementia,” the ad shows that Google Assistant can be a great memory jogger.

Highly emotional ads are more engaging and memorable. If the comments on YouTube are anything to go by, it’s been successful at creating a strong emotional bond with Google; a monopoly that provides a utility service and is keen to stave off regulation by building loyalty when it needs it most.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Artificiality.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.