Every day, people come to Google to ask questions, big and small, grappling with some of the biggest questions around UK culture and identity. As the UK maps out its future post pandemic, this new campaign reflects the simple belief that only by asking and developing understanding, can we become closer as individuals and as a society.
This week, Google and Uncommon launch their second collaboration together, following the brand work — ‘What are you searching for this Summer?’ — which tapped into the mood of the nation embarking on a Summer post lockdown. The new campaign continues to drive emotion back into the brand’s most powerful product: Search — but this time surfacing relatable confessional queries into British identity and culture.
The emotive film, titled ‘Hands Raised’, embodies the power questions can hold in inviting positive change in UK culture, acknowledging that while it’s not always easy, Google is a place where every kind of question can be asked without fear of judgement. The film is voiced by and includes footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, whose allyship encourages asking questions without shame, to learn and better our understanding of each other to help bring the community together.
The film focuses on moments of curiosity where people might not know or understand the actions or environment around them and where their observations lead to a sense of trepidation that they might say the wrong thing or create an awkward situation. For example, a young white boy using ‘Wagwan?’ to address his mates, noticing a colleague isn’t quite their usual self at work or not knowing what a Ceilidh is. Google wants to remove the barriers and stigma around tackling these queries and encourage the behaviour to ask and learn.
The film opens on the Google homepage — we see an empty search bar paused, the cursor begins blinking to the electronic beat of the soundtrack titled ‘Territory’ by The Blaze. We then begin to move through a number of scenes showing these moments of uncertainty, surrounding conversations such as race, religion and mental health.
Halfway through the film, we see a young black boy and his white mother standing in front of the Marcus Rashford mural in Manchester, which was defaced following the racist backlash against players after the Euros 2020 defeat. Around the mother and son, we see and feel the community gather, triggering a huge moment of unity as hands raise all around the country on our screen reflecting the urge and importance of asking those questions that help bring us together as a nation.
The film then begins to cut between search terms of confessional queries and moments of resolution and learning being found through the motion of asking — representing a portrait of Britain at its most open-minded and best.
Near the end of the film, we cut to show our narrator himself — a voice of change in UK culture, Marcus Rashford MBE. His moving words remind us: “It’s not our questions that define us — it’s what we do with the answers.”
The campaign will also be supported by a bespoke YouTube activation — The Ally Complete Challenge — exploring the theme of allyship through questioning and will feature a range of celebrity talent all supporting the call-to action #itsoktoask. Amplified across Paid Social channels, the first episode will feature Radio 1 icons Nick Grimshaw and Clara Amfo. An outdoor suite, live later in the month, will continue to encourage the sentiment to ask questions that move us forward with copy such as ‘Why do people take the knee?’. The film launches this week on TV, online and social running until mid October.
Project name: Hands Raised
Creative Studio: Uncommon
Production company: Somesuch
Editor: Amanda James @ Final Cut
Exec Producer: Scott O’Donnell
Producer: Nat Baring
DOP: Stuart Bentley
Post-production: Time Based Arts
Grade: Time Based Arts
Colourist: Simone Grattarola
VFX: Alistair Hamer & Jamie Crofts
Track name: ‘Territory’ by The Blaze
Music licensed by believe
Voiceover: Marcus Rashford MBE
Audio post-production: Machine
Media agency: Essence & OMD