Advert: ‘Tom’ (Google+) – 31 March 2012


It’s almost exactly two years since John Lewis aired their renowned Always A Woman advert for the first time, which followed one fame from infant girl to loving grandmother. After seeing it in that night’s edition of Britain’s Got Talent, I took to this blog to share it with readers. And that I intend to do with another advert – or ‘commercial’, as the marketers of the American company it promotes would say – this one for Google and, specifically, their Google+ social network.

Google have effectively given their own take on that JL Never Knowingly Undersold campaign, using Jaques’s All The World’s A Stage monologue from Shakespeare‘s As You Like It as the ‘soundtrack’ to the 90-second commercial, read by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Personally, I still prefer the beautiful colouring of the 2010 ad even though, unlike this one, it’s technically impossible: the child at the birthday party could not have been wearing clothes from the same era as the elderly lady seen at the end of the video if they were indeed the same person (in this one, there’s two ‘real time’ eras, with Tom’s son, Tom today, and Tom as a grandfather illustrating the ‘seven ages of man’, getting around that problem). But even still, it’s a great clip, and interesting to see Google (a long-pioneering web company) advertising through a much older and less-targetable medium (one that they don’t have any control over) for what is really the first time.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.