Google’s new Super Bowl ad is going to hit you in the feels, and that’s what it intends. Remember its “Dear Sophie” and “Parisian Love” commercials? I admit I got a little choked up at both of those even though I still had the nagging feeling that maybe I didn’t want Google all that involved in my personal business.
The latest ad is titled “Loretta,” where an elderly gentleman’s voice asks his Google Assistant to help him remember details about his late wife. It’s just more of the creepy normalizing of internet surveillance that we’ll probably keep seeing from big internet companies as they insinuate themselves deeper and deeper into our daily lives.
“Loretta” shows a series of photos of a couple over the course of their marriage, with the man giving Google details to “remember,” like how his wife loved Alaska and hated the husband’s mustache. It was “inspired” by the story of a grandfather of a Google employee and even features the grandfather’s voice, Today reported. “At 85, to an audience of millions, he’ll be making his film debut. We couldn’t be happier for him,” Google’s chief marketing officer wrote in a blog post.
Given all the ways it collects data on us, it’s depressing to consider that Google apparently doesn’t see anything unsettling about an ad that highlights a grieving widower providing the search giant with even more personal details. What kinds of ads would our voiceover man see in Google Chrome after feeding this information to Assistant — cruises to Alaska? Mustache trimmers? Funeral services? Gross, right? But that’s what Google’s good at: convincing us that, sure, you have to give up a little privacy, but look at all you get in return.