Google Chrome Sends Grieving Daughter to College in New Ad

As if freshman year weren't hard enough

This latest Chrome spot from Google Creative Lab and BBH in New York—part of the brand's long-running and generally excellent "The Web is what you make of it" campaign—doesn't skimp on the pathos. At first it appears to be your prototypical 21st-century off-to-college ad, showing a daughter getting through her freshman year with virtual help from her dad (and his suite of Google products!). It's a pretty common setup that would seem to naturally contain enough emotional touch points for 60 seconds. But then BBH ups the ante by making Mom recently deceased—forcing father and daughter to learn how to connect in her absence. (In the end, they end up connecting mostly through her.) Clearly, this is a gamble. There's a reason there aren't many dead parents in advertising—they're a downer! Chrome has always gone for the real tear-jerkers in spots that have ranged from awkward to almost perfect. What about this one—over the top, or just right?