Google's COVID-19 vaccine ad says farewell to 'virtual,' 'lockdown' and more

The search bar reframes life as if it's going back to normal

Published On
Apr 05, 2021

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As we’ve seen with classic Google tear-jerkers, the tech giant’s search bar is a window into life as we know it. Within that slender, horizontal frame, we’ve seen a dramatic love story unfold, and we’ve witnessed the highs and lows of year after year. Now, the company is going back to the box with another heart-tugger that reminds viewers why they should be lining up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The spot, set to a quiet piano track, shows users doing typical searches from the time of coronavirus. Words like “quarantine,” “lockdown,” and “school closings” appear, only to fade from the frame with clicks of the backspace button. (One moment that hit this writer particularly hard was seeing the word “sweat” taken away from “pants.”)

We then see such words change in other Google tools. A theater and restaurant on Google Maps originally marked as “temporarily closed” now read “open,” and the word “virtual” is erased from happy hours, playdates and fiestas on Google Calendar. Weddings are no longer “postponed,” sports events no longer “canceled.” It’s all going back to normal, it seems, before the final search reads, “covid vaccine near me.” The endline then says, “Get back to what you love” and the ad directs viewers to the CDC site

The spot follows what’s becoming a familiar theme in coronavirus vaccine ads—hearkening back to what life was like pre-pandemic, seen in pushes from Walgreens, Pfizer, the Ad Council and more.