All of us: 2020 is going to be our year!
This pretty much has been the story of all our lives this year. Many of us were excited to make 2020 our year, travel around the world, see new places, and so on. Little did we know that even stepping outside to get groceries, let alone traveling to another country or city would feel like entering a war zone. All of us have been staying inside as much as possible to save ourselves and others from getting infected but there is still a way in which you can travel around the world. Kinda sorta. This kind of seeing the world does not involve traditional means of traveling. It actually involves a lot of clicking, dragging, and dropping. And Google has just released an ad showing you this.
Watching the world through Pegman’s eyes
“Explore from home with StreetView” is a minute-long ad that starts with Google Maps on the screen with a location tag that reads “Home”. A little yellow, block-ish guy (called Pegman) is on the bottom right of the screen. He is then picked up, and dragged along the map. He passes a lot of destinations (many labeled “temporarily closed” – hey, there’s a lockdown on) and is then dropped at Yosemite National Park. A beautiful view of the park then appears on the screen, showing the venue in Google’s famous Street View, which allows you to literally look around a place on your device’s display.
Little Pegman is then dragged on the map again and dropped at Sistine Chapel this time. A colorful view of the Chapel’s ceiling then comes on the screen. The next stop for Pegman after some more flying is Eiffel Tower, after which the little yellow guy then flies to Royal Alcazar of Seville. This is followed by visuals of different popular tourist destinations present in different countries like the view of Rialto Bridge in Italy, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Vienna State Opera amongst others, and each place opens up in Street View giving you a glimpse of the place. All of these places that Pegman is taken to are highlighted on Google Maps and it is mentioned below their names that they are temporarily closed. Then Pegman is taken back home and dropped there.
When this happens, the words, “The world cannot wait to see you either” appear against a white background, followed by Google Maps and its logo on the screen. The ad has mellow music (mainly piano) playing throughout in the background.
Who’s cutting the onions, dammit!
If you were to ask us to choose a single ad that we would have to watch again and again all through this lockdown period, we would not even think twice and pick this one (not exaggerating). As mediocre as its title sounds, “Explore the world with StreetView” has warmed our hearts immensely. The ad literally has nothing but Google Maps on the background, a little yellow block-ish guy, Pegman moving all over the map, and visiting all the places which are otherwise closed for a personal visit due to Covid-19. The ad shows that even though these places are closed, you can see them. All you have to do is open Google Street View on your phone or computer, take Pegman along, and see the world through your virtual eyes. You just have to click, drag, and drop.
We did not think it was possible to love the cute little animated Pegman figurine any more than we already did, but this ad proved us wrong. The way it is hanging on the map, flying all over the map – it just is so adorable!
But the ad is not just about highlighting StreetView. During these uncertain times when everyone is stuck inside and visiting these touristy places seems like a distant dream, Google has brought us an ad that reminds us what it would feel like to travel to all the places on our checklist once all this is over. The ad gives us hope. It gives us something to look forward to.
Ok, Google…you got us mushy
What brings it all together is the background music. The soft, mellow, piano tinkling in the background hit us right in the feels, making us very emotional. Many of us might have been tired of staring at the same old four walls but all the views and all the places shown in the ad just give us a glimpse of how the world outside is: still as beautiful as ever.
But the masterstroke of the ad, that left our hearts as mush was the last line that appears on the screen. Once you have seen all the visuals of the ad with that music, you think there is nothing more this ad can do to make you any more emotional, but then the only bit of copy of the ad appears on the screen saying, “The world can’t wait to see you either.”
And what was left of our already mushed up hearts then melts away like butter on a hot day in Delhi.
Google has been serving us pure content gold when it comes to advertising of late. Ad after ad, the brand is not just telling us about its services but is also helping us cope in these difficult times. Just when we think we cannot do this anymore, Google releases an ad and it becomes a little easier for that one minute. Explore the world with StreetView is another one of those. It does not make you forget that the world is dealing with a pandemic, but it shows that there IS light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel.
All we need to do is hang in there.
Or click, drop and drag in there.
And it will all eventually be fine.