Storytelling In Marketing: A Google Case Study

Humans connect with humans. That’s the most obvious thing, right? Ask yourself: whether you come across a story, or see a face that you know, you’ll pause and consider engaging with the content. That’s what a human touch does – it brings you relatability to an extent that you can immediately resonate and connect with it because connecting with humans is one of the most important tasks in marketing. So why not use this content to bring you the best results?

When it comes to humanistic storytelling, a lot of brands have made their mark creating ads that pull at your heartstrings and for some, even bring an odd tear to the eye. Today we’re discussing a brand whose marketing videos are an amazing testament to the fact that human content and storytelling not only helps you connect with the brand better, but also helps you remember them in the long run. Which brand is it? Google.

We all know Google, right? Even if you want to know about Google you’ll visit Google to Google it. Confusing? Not really. We all know the enormity of this brand and its usage in our lives. But what does Google do when they want to promote a feature such as search among the masses? You can’t go into the technicalities of search, no one would listen. What do you do, then? You tell a story, and a story they did tell not once, but multiple times with content that’ll immediately win you over.

The friendship, the culture, India, Pakistan, Google brings it all together with this 2013 ad that I remember ever since our teacher played it back in university; it’s that good. Then, as if this story wasn’t enough to give you feels for a lifetime, they brought you another ad, this time exploring our love for Bollywood classics.

Who knew Google Search could bring you so many feels you’d want to watch the movie with the townsfolk?

Real stories from real people

Then there’s customer stories. For a brand like Google that’s used by millions of people in thousands of domains, you’re sure to come across some stories that the brand has helped develop. One such story is from Google’s campaign #WomenWhoStartUp – a video series talking about women who have created a world for themselves to grow better. Check out this story from India about Rupa Trivedi.

Amazing, right? Rupa isn’t the only one whose life has changed. There are millions of other people, only a few of whose stories are shared by Google but the impact is so profound that you know that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are more people whose lives have changed because of the various services offered by the brand, be it Google Search, YouTube, Google Ads, or Google Assistant. Check out some more of such stories below…

Whether it’s small business owners or people breaking boundaries, Google shares their stories, and every time you’re impressed to see how well its products are integrated with the story.

Google has stories not only for its products but also its causes. Whether it’s about World WiFi Day and its impact on people, talking about immigrants, or highlighting their culture, the human relationship with the content and stories is pretty cool.

A major event

And how can we not talk about their Super Bowl commercial from 2020. A time when brands just love to show off their creativity, Google took it all and threw us a ball of feelings we weren’t expecting. Remember… well, you’ll remember.

There’s more…

Now, we’re huge users of Google Slides and if you’ve used a certain orange theme from their template kit you’ll be aware of Alberto and his story of using Google Translate. Well, they have a video that tells the full story…

The “Year in Search” series

And finally, their Year in Search series. Every year Google rolls out a video that highlights some of the most searched terms of the period, and as chaotic and uncertain 2020 was, the biggest search engine giant did its job and gave us a video that had us living the year’s mishaps all over again, albeit feeling good in a way that we survived.

Sensitive, educational, and creative, this video has our heart, literally. And this isn’t a one off, all of their Year in Search videos are equally creative and worth binge watching.
Google is the world’s go to place for search, so of course, being their core and biggest product, they’ll have to educate people about it. But the question remains: do they act technical about it from the start, or do they develop your interest in the search story first? Guess what they did…

The video is long, yes, but the premise is set in a way that it grabs your attention from the beginning. And that, my friends, is how amazing human content can make you spend an hour on a video, a story, a post, or a website without batting an eye.

Ending it with some music…

Nickelback’s Photographs is a classic but listen to it from Google’s point of view and it becomes even better. Unbelievable, yes, but also true.

The video talks about Google Photos and photograph rabbit holes you tend to fall into when going through your memories and the whole thing is so well done I remember the song already. The stupid outfits, weird hairstyles, bizzare expressions and cringey poses you make become all the more special as you grow up, and you don’t have to save up hundreds of prints of those, you just need to store them in Google Photos. The concept is so human, you’ll love it.

So that’s it, that’s my review of some of Google’s most human ads that make the brand seem like a friend you’ve missed. Tell us about your favorite ones from the list in the comments.

Zainab Abdul Rehman

Content and strategy specialist with a head full of ideas that I never get time to execute.

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