During this past New Year’s Eve celebration, Google ran a two-minute TV spot that collectively closed the door on one of the most divisive and disruptive years in recent history. I am a fan of great creative and great storytelling and when I see it, I have to call it out. This was one of those examples.
A great creative story taps into emotion — and it’s safe to say the last 12 months served up more opportunity for emotional responses across all walks of life than many other time periods. There were the deaths of music and entertainment figures. There were attacks and terrorism. There were insults and anger. There were elections. There was reason after reason for people to hate one another (and the world around them), but Google found a way to spin the narrative and flip it around. They found a way to make it about love. They showed us moments of inspiration and of joy that we sometimes forget because we focus on the negative.
Great creative should inspire you and make you want to take action. In its most mundane incarnation, great creative will get you to consider buying a product. It can also make you want to create change in yourself and the world around you.
While 2016 was certainly a tipping point for negativity, I also found it to be the year when people started to question their own reactions to the world around them and started asking how they could be better. I think Google did a great job of tapping into hope, an emotion that many people forgot about in 2016.
2017 is a brand new year — and while many people will roll their eyes and be collectively cynical, stating that it’s truly nothing other than a date on a calendar, I disagree. I think any great change begins with an idea. 2017 is the year when people will remember the impact they can have on the world through one interaction at a time.
Great creative can help tell a story, but there has to be an undercurrent for that story to tap into and to exist in the first place. In this case Google tapped into the inherent hope, love and pride that people typically have. It served to remind the viewer of the good that is out there. From what I can see -- and from the more than 14 million views on YouTube that the video already has -- lots of people agreed.
Here’s to 2017 being a year where each and everyone of us has a more positive outlook and the ability to succeed, regardless of what seemingly insurmountable obstacles lie before us.