Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Google’s Superbowl ad

I really enjoyed Google’s Superbowl ad, in which a love story is told as a series of search queries:

  • study abroad paris france
  • cafes near the louve (sic)
  • translate tu es très mignon
  • impress a french girl
  • chocolate shops paris france
  • what are truffles
  • who is truffaut
  • long distance relationship advice
  • jobs in paris
  • AA120
  • churches in paris
  • how to assemble a crib

I was curious how Google would do “in real life” on these queries, as well as how Bing (my employer) does. Not surprisingly, Google does well on all these queries. I am pleased to state that Bing does well, too, although I have to admit that the specific results from the translate and “AA120” (a flight search) are not quite as succinctly done (yet!) as Google’s are. But all of the general and “local” queries (even the one with “Louvre” misspelled) are every bit as good as Google’s, and sometimes better presented. “Churches in paris”, I think, is nicer–showing images of churches first before the “local” search.

At this point, I’d claim that Bing really is as good or better than Google for general search–not based on this ad, of course, but from my daily use of both.

I also notice that the link clicked in the video for “how to impress a french girl” is now welcoming people who saw the Google ad.

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5 responses to “Google’s Superbowl ad

  1. ncecire February 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Hopefully, anyone who sincerely googles “how to impress a french girl” is doomed to a life of Cheeto-eating in his parents’ basement.

    Oh, geek culture misogyny, how predictable you are.

  2. Will Fitzgerald February 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Since this was a Superbowl ad, I think you assign this to the general commercial culture (with geeks providing the tools for more efficient and effective misogyny).

  3. Brendan February 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I made my web browser do quasi-random switching between the engines. http://github.com/brendano/randomsearch So far, I like Google better because it’s better at a very narrow but for me important set of queries: navigational academic/research person search, to find the home page of a particular researcher. I think URL match is weighted higher or something, or they bias doc authority towards educational domains somehow, I dunno. Outside of technical research queries, though, I can’t tell a ton of difference.

  4. Brendan February 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    oh but i took yahoo off the rotation, it’s clearly worse and annoying when it gets selected

  5. Michael H. February 10, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Very cute ad, thank you for the link!

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