Google salutes military members in Super Bowl ad

Pair of Big Game spots also includes a revealing statistic for Google Translate

Published On
Feb 04, 2019

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Google aired a pair of Super Bowl ads, one of which gives veterans around the world a salute--and wink.

The company is promoting a relatively new search feature that's specifically designed to make it easier for veterans to find civilian jobs related to what they did in the military.

The 60-second commercial is estimated to have cost Google more than $10 million, but instead of promoting its message to everyone who watched it, the company instead opted to speak in a language that only veterans--or their loved ones--would understand.

Numbers such as "21E" or "11B" are shown on documents throughout the spot, but a narrator never indicates what they mean.

"To most of you, these codes don't mean anything; you've probably never seen them or heard them," the narrator says. "But 7 percent of you have. The 7 percent that have spent weeks or months away from family. The 7 percent that sleep in the cold. Sleep in the rain and sometimes, don't sleep at all. The 7 percent that keep us safe."

Soldiers, Airmen, Marines or Sailors, however, surely recognized those "codes" immediately.

"Military occupational speciality," almost exclusively called "MOS" by those who served in the Army or Marines, is the job designation they had while serving. The Air Force has a similar code--AFSC, or "Air Force Specialty Codes"--as does the Navy with its NEC, or "Navy Enlisted Classification."

An 11-Bravo is an infantryman, more commonly known as a "grunt;" 21-Echo is a heavy construction equipment operator, for example. With Google's new feature, someone who served as a 12-Bravo (combat engineer), can search for civilian jobs related to their filed by entering "jobs for 12B," for instance.

100 billion

The company's second Super Bowl spot coupled Google's translate app with a revealing stat.

"More than 100 billion words are translated every day," says a voiceover as video of people from all parts of the world are shown. "Words about food, words about friendship, about sport, about belief, about fear, about hurt and sometimes, divide. But every day, the most translated words in the world are 'how are you,' 'thank you' and, 'I love you.'"


Both commercials were created in house by Google Creative Lab, while the media was executed by PHD and Essence, the company said.

Google aired its first Super Bowl ad in 2010 and aired the spot "Home" in 2017, an ad that it had previously run.