Private View: Google Chrome's birthday campaign is good enough

Jake Dubs

Creative Director, Pereira O'Dell New York

There’s a Larry Page quote I remember liking: "I have always believed technology should do the hard work - discovery, organization, communication - so users can do what makes them happiest: living and loving, not messing with annoying computers." Those words feel like the genesis of this campaign. I’m not in love with this work, but I do think it works. It has a focused strategy, clear visual concept and diverse (if not always great) vignettes. And I’m a sucker for creative that can go on forever without getting boring.

The GFX is slick and understated — just a simple, 3D browser wireframe and tab enveloped within each scene. In the first vignette, it's even reflected in a barber’s mirror, which my inner details freak appreciates. The perpetually moving camerawork was also engaging, and the use of mixed media (a famous painting, UGC cellphone video, TV show clips, etc.) made everything feel bigger.

I was less of a fan of the opening logo. C’mon, Google clients. You, too? Surely you’re more confident in your brand than that. Everyone knows the Chrome logo, and it’s on screen the entire spot. I also felt the end cycling supers transitioning from "Be a (Blank)" to "Don’t Be a Browser" could have used a bit more craft. As for the 80’s dance elephant in the room (Din Daa Daa U.S. Remix by George Kranz), I’m 50/50. I hated it at first. But by viewing #7, I was sort of into it! God help you getting that one out of your head.

Jessica Becker

Managing Director, Manifest New York

The insight into Google's campaign starts off strong. They identified how Chrome, like any good technology, slots seamlessly into everyday life and enhances existing behavior. The "don’t be a browser" strapline is also amusing because it is aggressive in tone and feels like it’s championing a movement. But, the final execution is mediocre.

It's understood that Chrome has to appeal to the masses, but they played it safe to a point of insignificance.

Google should have dialed it up a notch and used funnier examples of when people turn to Chrome for help in real life, like "how do I make my ex fall back in love with me?" or "what do I do if my hamster falls in the toilet?" Not only would this coax a smile out of the viewer, but it also would help them realize that they are not the only ones who seek answers from Chrome to address their wildest concerns. This campaign shows an attempt, but the examples feel flat and not personal enough to relate to.

In summary: The creative platform is great. The content is fine, but it’s not memorable.