The Google Doodles that change everyday on the Google homepage exist just to brighten our day. I, personally, love them! For Valentine’s Day, Google teamed up with Ira Glass and This American Life to bring you something very special.
Do you like love stories?
This American Life prepared six love stories to be animated by the Google Doodle team. Each letter in the word “Google” gets a candy heart, that you can click on to hear a short, moving story about love. Ira Glass tried to license music to run with the stories, but Google turned the idea down due to it being too difficult to license, since roughly “a zillion” people visit the website every day.
Still, I’m not convinced.
One thing that makes the Google Doodles so fantastic is that Google has access to an incredible engineering team that is qualified in making the whole internet searchable — the sky’s the limit when it comes to animating the doodles.
However, in this case, the animation team wanted to be certain that they were not overshadowing the audio of the stories. Yet, radio can be an extremely intimate way of communicating, because there are no images except for the ones conjured in the listener’s head. With This American Life ability to perfect the art of telling stories to listeners, The Google Doodle project had the team taking on a new audience and a new format to try to make the sound work. It was more challenging than you might expect, since creating sound to play out of a computer is different than mixing it for car radio or a podcast. But one never thinks about these challenging little details when clicking on a Google Doodle, whether it’s a Doctor Who video game, a crossword puzzle, or candy heart love stories.
Ira Glass explains how this little piece of internet magic came to be:
“I was in San Francisco in November, and got a tour of Google’s headquarters, and met with the Doodle team. They reminded me of the radio show’s staff, the general vibe of the group, and the sense that they’re out to amuse themselves and make whatever will be fun or moving. I think our staff size is about the same too, roughly a dozen people. It’s a weird and idealistic corner in a weird and idealistic company. There was a general sort of “hey wouldn’t it be fun to try to collaborate on something together?” They pitched July 4th as a good possibility. We counter-pitched Valentine’s Day, because the stories could be more emotional. That kind of freaked them out, to have to turn so many little animations around so quickly. They weren’t sure it could be done. Now three months later, here we are. Incredible. Valentine’s Day is a day for love and these stories are a labor of love.”
I occupy my own little weird and idealistic corner of the world, so I love this kind of thing. There’s no real reason for a Google Doodle like this to exist — except to delight. I’m glad zillion-dollar companies like Google are willing to commit resources to projects like this.
Here’s how the Google Doodle process goes down:
And if you’d like to take a look at Google Doodles of the past, go here. They’re delightful!