Best of The Web: Google Evolved

Veteran Internet users (aka old folks like us) remember the days of dial-up modems and 16-color graphics. That’s where a recent video from Google begins its story. It tells of Google’s evolution from those nostalgic dial-up tones to the present-day technological marvels of which the Google machine is now capable.

During its first month in the wild, this video has accumulated almost 9,000,000 views. Most people would consider that successful, so let’s take a look at what made it succeed.


There is not a lot of eye candy in this video. There is a lot of white space. The color palette is limited. The pace is quick and snappy. The audio contains short statements that are quickly digested, especially when taken in with the visuals. The simple design of the video makes it very easy to consume.

A Story of Change

In a mere two minutes, the viewer takes a journey that spans 17 years and countless technological innovations, each leapfrogging the one before. This story speeds viewers along a vast arc at breakneck pace. It’s a story of constant change, making you wonder what crazy innovation will come next. This keeps viewer engagement high.

Asking and Answering an Important Question

Questions are often more important than answers. Google makes their question explicit: “How can we help you get things done in as few steps as possible?” (1:33).

That’s a fantastic question for them to pose. It’s relevant to pretty much everyone. Notice that Google isn’t asking how they can help users search through more information than ever before. They aren’t asking how they can save a few seconds on commute times. They are asking the question behind those questions. This video reflects a keen awareness of the basic human need that they are addressing.

Finishing in a Place of Trust

The conclusion of the video breaks from the conventional wisdom that videos ought to include a clear, explicit, and specific call to action. Instead, it ends with a claim that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The implicit call to action might be something like, “Expect big things from Google and trust us to deliver.”

Since the video shows many big innovations they’ve already delivered, the viewer has every reason to grant that trust—and trust is the most valuable currency in the market. Basically, Google made this video to gain trust.

Video Evolved

This video not only shows how Google has evolved over the years, but also serves as a case study in how video has evolved. As the marketplace has changed, companies have had to change with it in order to survive.

As you may know, Epipheo launched itself onto the video scene with a video we made for Google Wave. We’re happy to celebrate the evolution of one of our earliest clients.

And happy to do some evolving of our own. We’re setting our sights on becoming a market leader in revealing epiphanies to the world. Our question is this: How can we help you reveal your epiphany in as few seconds as possible?

Written by Adam Rust, Production Coordinator