The Google logo is recognized the world over. It’s a logo that many people see on a daily basis as they make the Google homepage their first port of call in exploring the wider web. It’s simple and yet iconic at the same time. But no one wants to see the same old logo staring back at them every time they search for something online, do they?
Google doesn’t think so. It knows that while the original logo will stand the test of time, varying it up on occasion can aid brand awareness. These variations are known as Google Doodles, and this article recounts five of the best Google Doodles presented in the form of video.
Google Doodles, as they have become known to the world, originated back in 1998 before Google had even become incorporated as a company. The first appeared on August 30th, and was in commemoration of the Burning Man festival of that year. The stickman behind the second O of Google (which still had its first logo complete with the Yahoo!-inspired exclamation mark) was to warn users that the founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin were absent. In case the servers went down. How times have changed.
Since then over 1,000 Google Doodles have appeared on the search homepage across the world, some globally, some locally. The Doodles have increased in complexity, and now often take the form of something other than mere still images. What follows are five of the best video Google Doodles, which originally required users to press Play on the logo itself to get anything from them.
The John Lennon Google Doodle appeared on October 8, 2010, which would have been the 70th birthday of The Beatles’ singer/songwriter extraordinaire. It comprises a short (32-seconds) animation made in a very similar style to Lennon’s own artwork. It ends with the Google logo being revealed as a black and white pen drawing with each letter revealing a scene. Lennon’s stylized self-portrait acts as the double OO’s in Google.
Playing in the background is Imagine, arguably Lennon’s greatest song and certainly his best solo effort. The remaining members of The Beatles have been careful in letting their work be spread digitally and via the Internet, making it all the more engaging to hear Imagine playing right from within the Google homepage itself.
The Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle appeared on April 16, 2011, which would have been the 122nd birthday of the legendary silent film star. It comprises a 2-minutes-long sketch very much in the style of Chaplin. With one Google employee actually taking on the role of the actor, director, and composer himself.
We see the Charlie Chaplin lookalike get moved on by a policeman, have his portrait painted, and then try to blag himself some baked goods. In the end it comes full-circle, with the policeman becoming the mark and paying over the odds for a cupcake. Google makes sure to reference itself throughout the skit, but then the ultimate point of the Doodles is to promote Google across the web.
The Freddie Mercury Google Doodle appeared on September 5, 2011, which would have been the 65th birthday of the Queen singer and ultimate rock frontman. It comprises an animated re-imagining of Don’t Stop Me Now, with Mercury’s avatar starting on stage before being whisked away on a virtual tour mirroring the verses of the song.
We get to see Freddie Mercury in all his different guises, with costume changes galore. He ends up floating back down to the stage before the Google logo lurches forward to snap us back to reality. This is a fitting tribute to Mercury and I’d like to think he would have appreciated it.
The Halloween 2011 Google Doodle appeared on October 31, 2011, to commemorate Halloween, naturally. Google’s Halloween-themed Doodles have become more involved over the years, and this is by far the best. The video shows a time-lapse version of events as Google staff carve six huge pumpkins (probably the largest you will have ever seen) into the spooky versions of the letters in the company’s name.
This was shot in the middle of the Google campus in Mountain View, California, and includes some added guests such as a pumpkin man and what looks to be Santa Claus. There is also a longer version which shows a behind-the-scenes view on the pumpkin carving. It’s more work than I imagined. How the search giant will top this in 2012 I haven’t a clue.
The Valentine’s Day 2012 Google Doodle appeared on February 14, 2012, to commemorate Valentine’s Day, naturally. We get to see an animated love story play out in front of us, with Google of course playing an important role throughout. Tony Bennett singing Cold, Cold Heart provides the soundtrack to this heartfelt story without dialog.
The young man uses the search engine to find out what to give a girl in order to win her over, but has his advances rebuffed on several occasions. Chocolate, cuddly toys, flowers, and balloons all fail to win her heart. Eventually he gives up and joins her in skipping rope. And they live happily ever after.
You can check out all Google Doodles created over the past 14 years on Google Doodles. If any in particular have resonated with you then let us and the rest of the MakeUseOf readership know by commenting below. We’re always happy to hear your thoughts on all the various subjects we bring to your attention.