Emotion, Empathy And Education, All In One Ad?

Emotion, Empathy And Education, All In One Ad?


Google’s latest campaign is an unusual blend of emotion, empathy and education. It starts by telling you what a “CODA” is – a Child Of Deaf Adults. It’s estimated that over 90% of CODAs are not deaf themselves, including the star of Google’s film. As he tells us, he lives with one foot in the hearing world, one foot in the deaf world.

This cross-cultural experience isn’t the focus of the ad, though. Like a lot of recent tech ads, it puts the emphasis on communication, and how technology helps the son stay in touch with his parents after the Covid year when he wasn’t able to see them. Video links let them see their first grandchild playing – an adorable moment which helps the ad end on a high note emotionally.

It’s clear why tech ads place such an emphasis on bringing people together at the moment – and it’s not just the pandemic. Internet giants like Google and Facebook have been forced to defend themselves from politicians on all sides. It’s no wonder the brands are using advertising to mount a kind of charm offensive, stressing their very real benefits on an individual level rather than their more questionable wider impact.

The CODA framing lets Google also remind audiences of what makes it different – it’s the place you go to find stuff out. The brand faces tough competition in other areas, but it still owns search online, and beginning the ad with a search query is a smart way of reinforcing its biggest brand asset. The ad scores an exceptional short-term Spike Rating.

Ultimately this is a strong performer with the audience – it gets 4.7-Stars and has a very healthy emotional journey, with early sadness fully resolved and big peaks of happiness later in the ad. It’s not Google’s highest-ever performer – that honour goes to its pandemic ad last year – but it’s an ad which puts emotion to the front while subtly reinforcing Google’s branding and purpose.

View the full in-depth ad report.