This Google ad aired just before Black History month in 2020, and opens with the words “There are moments in American history that captivate us all.” The ad then lists “the most searched _____” to celebrate Black history makers. These include: the most searched performance (Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella performance); the most searched guitar solo (Prince’s Purple Rain), the most searched egot winner (John Legend); the most searched female poet (Maya Angelou); the most searched dunk (Michael Jordan in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago); the most searched tennis player (Serena Williams); the most searched ballerina (Misty Copeland); the most searched gymnast (Simone Biles); the most searched athlete (Lebron James); the most searched homecoming (Howard University); the most searched tap dancer (Gregory Hines); the most searched Pulitzer winner (Kendrick Lamar); the most searched remix (Old Town Road by Lil Nas X); the most searched drag queen (Rupaul); the most searched talk show host (Oprah Winfrey); the most searched WWII airmen (Tuskagee Airmen); the most searched NASA mathematician (Katherine Johnson); the most searched autobiography (the autobiography of Malcolm X); the most searched star spangled banner (Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV); the most searched movement (Civil Rights Movement); the most searched speech (Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream”). It then ends by saying “To the history makers and those they inspire. Search on. Google.”
What do these figures have in common? What is significant about them being the “most searched”?
How are the examples edited together? Did you notice an order? How and why does the ad shift from entertainment, sports and culture figures to those tied to politics, Civil Rights, and Black liberation?
This video could be described as a montage (a single composition edited together from several sources). It is also an advertisement for Google. What do you think about Google using these images, events, and figures as a form of branding?
If you were making this ad, who else/what events might you include?