From rocky relations with China following the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus checks, the country has been at the top of every headline about economics. Now it’s showing up on the headlines for a different reason: inflation.
Google’s latest ad instilling hope and encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Heartening and hopeful: this is how Google speaks to your heart.
The tension escalates and reaches a peak when we understand what Google is doing. Google is deleting all that the pandemic has brought. And then everything becomes clear: get your vaccine and get back to normal!
We come from a period of uncertainties, of “you’re muted”, “my Wi-Fi doesn’t work”, a period that required great adaptability and communication skills. Now, we are finally being presented with a solution. Yes, the vaccine was created in just one year. Yes, there are side effects. This is what experts are for. We have been told these vaccines are safe, and that the only way to recover from the pandemic and open a new chapter of our life is to get vaccinated. This is when we need to trust professionals and think about the people around us. Do a Google search if you need facts on the vaccine. The video also invites the viewers to check out the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, this ad is not just an attempt at convincing the skeptics to accept the vaccine as the only way out of this pandemic – it is also clever self-promotion. Google is part of our lives. Let it be Google search engine, Google calendar, Google Meet. The truth is, in this ad, Google is presenting itself as your friend – as the solution to your problem. Sweat pants in lockdown? Google it. Covid-19 restrictions abroad? Google it. Lockdown activities? Google it. Virtual Happy Meal? Google Meet. Google will always be there for you as a loyal friend. Not only does Google accompany you through your day, but it also knows practically everything about you: age, birthday, country, work, religion, social status, purchasing behaviours, and this is made clear in the advertisement.
Moving on to Google’s ability to penetrate your mind and heart no matter where you are, who you are, whatever your fears, hopes, plans are. Besides, Google knows you and your wants, how much you want to go back to in-person gatherings and face-to-face classes. One thing connects us all in this world, and that is the pandemic. We’ve had to rethink our future, plans, lifestyle, buy more stay-at-home sweat pants, schedule virtual meetings, and perhaps you too had to celebrate your birthday in lockdown. To a larger extent, think about how social media bring us closer, and has brought us closer during the first lockdown, from Instagram to TikTok, from organising fundraisings for hospitals to organising “concerts” on balconies and terraces. Google has helped us through the pandemic, especially during the first lockdown for online shopping, for booking doctor appointments, spending time with our friends and family. The tech giant knows you, your preferences, your habits, your taste in music, just like a friend, stepping into your life.
Finally, the background music and sounds. The music accompanies your feelings. Slow and sad music, slowly progressing to more upbeat and happy music. When you read the texts, you think about your life, your school, your favourite restaurant, your family, the noisy playground in your neighbourhood. Those annoying screams of children that, after all, we miss, the bell that took forever to ring, your friends’ laughs at restaurants and pubs. The video ends with a search phrase: ‘Covid vaccine near me’. Your thoughts are now about the life we had before: ‘Get back to what you love’, get back to your pre-pandemic life.
As of Monday morning, in just two weeks, the spot has accumulated more than 7.5 million views. This is how the tech giant demonstrates his power and monopoly, touching your heart and feelings. I know it is not over yet, but can we please remove “virtual” from our vocabulary?
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