“Jess Time” Google Chrome Ad

This Google Chrome commercial first aired in September 2012 and is from the brand’s “The Web is what you make of it” campaign. The ad depicts a series of conversations between a young girl, Jess, who has just started her freshman year at college, and her father, Elliot. They communicate through Google Chrome’s various features including video chatting and instant messaging. Beyond the ordinary challenges that come with moving away from home and starting at a new school, the commercial reveals that Jess’ mother has died. In the minute-long ad we see Jess and Elliot helping one another adjust to their new lives.

This ad has stuck with me since it first aired because of the way it so delicately handled a challenging subject matter and delivered its message so clearly. Attempting to appeal to the masses, most commercials try to be as noncontroversial as possible. So choosing to tell a story about a daughter who has lost her mother and a husband who has lost his wife struck me as a risk. Yet the ad never feels contrived or insincere. It has the intention of pulling on the audience’s heartstrings and certainly elicited an emotional response from me as the viewer, but I never felt manipulated. The ad also impressed me in how clearly it illustrated what Google Chrome is able to provide to its users without having to explicitly state the browser’s capabilities. By telling story that draws the viewer in, Google is able to communicate not only how Jess and Elliot were able to stay in touch, but also how we could all benefit from using Google Chrome’s services.

– Megan G.

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