Ad of the Day: Google

A girl finds the keys to the rocketship in Mullen's latest for the Nexus 7 tablet

"The playground is open," says Google, and the Nexus 7 is just the toy for kids who want to spend the day outside, presumably sitting by the spiderweb-encrusted jungle gyms and monkey bars, staring unblinkingly at their hi-res, 1280-by-800-pixel, Corning-glass screens.

"Google, how far is Earth to the moon?" the adorable little girl in this new Mullen ad asks her tablet. And despite the scrambled diction of the not yet fully verbal child, a soothing female voice answers her exactly, knowing not merely what she has said but what she means.

Not to be picky, but this little lady is a sight more active than most of the digital-age kids I've met. We have a nephew who throws books across the room because the pictures don't move. If only all kids were like this little spaceship-ready towhead, with her DIY rocket and her instant access to frequently correct Wikipedia explanations of astrophysics.

Oh, fine, it's a cute ad. Director Frederic Planchon has done a great job keeping things looking a little home-video-ish but still composing every shot beautifully. And who doesn't like Curious George? (Kids with tablet computers, that's who!) The messy fort and the astronaut helmet and the cauliflower clouds over the Nexus 7 food-house are terrific, although the whole thing looks a little like a science project you know for a fact your neighbor's kid did not put together all by herself. (Neil Armstrong's death inadvertently makes the ad more poignant, that's for sure.)

Google's advertising for this particular product has been intense—it's given the Nexus 7 a homepage ad today, which happens very rarely, and it's far and away the biggest Google.com placement it's ever given one of its products, with the tablet sticking its attractive head up through a slit "cut" in the page.

Affordable, low-end tablet computers, of course, are not the endgame, even at a company with as much ready cash as Google. With the possible exception of the iPad, many are sold below cost to consumers (I'm including marketing costs here), with the profit coming from the higher-end models (there's an 8GB Nexus 7—that's the $199 version—and a 16GB version, priced higher) that cost roughly the same amount to make but have more processing power.

Now, here's Werner Herzog reading a different Curious George book.

Mullen's previous Nexus 7 spot, from July:

CREDITS

Client: Google

Brand: Google Nexus 7

Spot: "Curious"

Agency: Mullen (San Francisco) + Google

Chief Creative Officer: Mark Wenneker

Group Creative Director: Paul Foulkes

Associate Creative Director/Art: Jeff DaSilva

Associate Creative Director/Copy: Jon Ruby

Copywriter: Jamie Rome

Art Director: Ryan Montgomery

Executive Director of Integrated Production: Liza Near

Executive Producer: Zeke Bowman

Associate Producer: Vera Skuratovsky

Content Creator: Emile Doucette

Strategy: Tara Inskip, Kay Pancheri, Laila Hannallah, Hannah Hewitt

Production Company: Anonymous

Director: Frederic Planchon

Executive Producer: Eric Stern

Producer: Paul Ure

DP: Kasper Tuxen / Martin Ruhe

Editorial: ps260

Editor: JJ Lask

Assistant Editors: Ned Borgman / Matt Posey / Colin Reilly

Senior Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson

VFX: Brickyard VFX

Lead VFX Artist: Geoff McAuliffe

Executive Producer: Kirsten Andersen

Music: Squeak E. Clean Productions

Audio Post: Soundtrack

Sound Design/Mixer: Mike Secher