Google Year in Search

Google has lost a little of its brand love in the last few years. People see the business more than the personality and lack a powerful emotional connection.

Every year, Google makes a campaign to be a part of the world’s reflection on the year that was. Increasingly, other brands are cluttering up this space making it imperative that Google stands out and delivers something genuinely unique.

Our goal was to increase brand love, be a part of popular culture at the end of the year and to turn Google’s utility and function into an emotional connection. Our insight was clear: somewhere in the things we search for is a little bit of who we are. People search in an unfiltered and instinctive way. In 2014 the world searched trillions of times, a massive data set that offered us a snapshot of the times we’re living in. When you look at it properly, search data is a valuable survey of humanity. Our strategy was to use this rich source of insight to offer a unique and never before seen view of the times that we are living in.

Our team worked with Google Engineers and Data Analysts to organise and synthesise millions of lines of data, crafting them into insights. We were actively digging beneath the obvious layers that other media, brands and social can already tell us. We turned these data insights into short stories of search, taking them out into the world and sharing them through a fully integrated campaign. First, we produced an inspirational film, called “Year in Search”, that brought people into the idea. Then, we invited them to explore the stories in greater depth in a responsive site translated into 42 different languages. The collection of stories we uncovered were turned into a Film, TVCs, an immersive website, a booklet in the New York Times, and a social content strategy. Journalists even used our stories to help shape their own reports. Finally, we joined the celebrations during NYE in the middle of New York City with the biggest digital screen in the northern hemisphere. A monument to the year in the middle of the collective emotions of 1million people.

We increased positive sentiment for Google by 26% during the campaign. Our stories became a part of popular culture with over 30M views of the film, 10M site visits, 2.6B social impressions, coverage in every major media globally and participation from some of the most influential pop culture figures and brands including Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Game of Thrones, Miami Heat and Lego.

We set out to offer a perspective of the year that only Google could tell, and we ended up creating a totally new storytelling platform.