I’m a sucker for an interactive Doodle, who isn’t? There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting into work to open the Google homepage to a new interactive game!
But where did the idea of these Google Doodles actually come from?
Quite simply, back in 1998 the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google. This was a message to say that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, hey presto, Google Doodles were born.
Conventional marketers would say that a company’s logo should stay consistent, but Google wanted to break the mold. And it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage. The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural, artistic or historical moments and events in the form of quirky images, interactive games and puzzles, adding a bit of fun to organic SEO!
Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers and animators who help create what you see on these significant days.
Let’s take a look at the best ones to grace 2017 so far…
11-14 Feb Valentine’s Day
This was definitely a personal favourite. Google launched a 4 day pangolin game on February 11, which continued with new levels on each day leading up to the romantic occasion. It showed how the critter prepared for Valentine’s Day and gave you the opportunity to help the cute scaly mammals fall in love. It gave us all the lovey feels, that’s for sure.
You were able to play the game rolled up in a little ball, going out to win prizes to create the perfect Valentine’s Day. However, the sad reality is that in real life, pangolins do roll up into balls, but they do so in order to protect themselves from predators. It’s heartbreaking to discover that wildlife experts estimate that more than 1 million pangolins have been illegally traded in the past decade, despite national and international efforts to crack down on poaching.
Google.org is involved in the effort to spare pangolins from extinction. They gave a grant to the World Wildlife Fund, which is using thermal imagery and other advanced technology to track poachers within pangolin habitats, which will have a tremendous impact on their wellbeing!
8 March International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, Google chose to look to the past to celebrate some of the female pioneers who paved the way to where we are today. According to Google, the search image depicts a girl whose grandmother is sharing the life stories of 13 exceptional women in history around the world.
The slideshow Doodle features a little girl whose grandmother tells her a fantastic bedtime story, a tale about some of the greatest historical heroines to date. The little girl goes on to visits 13 remarkable women in her imagination throughout the slideshow, which took us on a journey that featured many different cultures and countries.
Among the inspirational women featured are: Ida Wells, the American journalist and civil rights activist; Lotfia El Nadi, Egypt’s first female pilot; and Miriam Makeba, the South African singer and civil rights activist.
“Time to come out of hibernation; it’s officially the first day of spring” says Google.
This Doodle signified the spring equinox, a time in which the day and night are equal in length. The animation is just adorable. It shows an array of colourful flowers coming into bloom, including a big beautiful daffodil, we then see the cutest little mouse coming out of hibernation and decorating its underground home and heading back to bed (of course). You may also notice the placement of a broom, which is Google’s little nudge to encourage your Spring cleaning…
22 April Earth Day 2017
Earth Day is an important day to all of us, including Google. In this Doodle, they have created a cute animal army to fight for Earth Day. It’s a sweet but very serious reminder about the importance of Earth Day, which is presented in a way that is perfect for young children to learn about these issues.
It tells the story of a fox that has a nightmare about fish dying in the sea and penguins losing their homes to global warming. The troubling scenes prompt the little fox to wake in the middle of the night and begin working with his friends, an equally cute frog and cat, to try and make a difference to the planet. It shows them planting vegetables, cycling instead of driving cars and switching off lights. Then, as with all children’s tales, the trio go to bed with all being well in the world.
To celebrate the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, Google invited users to take a swing of their own on the pocket-size game that they created for the event.
The game shows a team of crickets and the fielders as snails – a reference to Google’s promise that the game will work on even the slowest of networks!
The search engine kept it simple, all you have to do is tap or click to swing the bat and watch as you either smack the ball around the field or see the bails get knocked off.
What has been your favourite Google Doodle of the year so far? We’d love to know. Get in touch to talk all things Google with our team today on 01212 200 3336 or fill out our contact form!