Google celebrates Black History Month with ‘Most Searched’ trends ad
Google is marking Black History Month in the US, with ‘The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers’, a TV commercial which outlines a number of Black American leaders, icons and athletes that have (among other achievements) topped its searches.
The 90-second spot first aired during the TV broadcast of the 2020 Grammy awards with the introduction: ‘There are moments in American history that captivate us all.’
The ad goes on to reveal icons and moments that have been searched more on Google than any other, such as the most-searched performance, held by Beyoncé for her appearance at Coachella in 2018 (pictured), LeBron James for most-searched athlete, Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ as most-searched speech and many, many others.
On a website accompanying the campaign, Google explains how it used its own US-based Google Trends data to identify Black American achievements that were searched more than any others between 1 January 2004 (when US Google Search Data first became available) and 1 July 2019.
“In other words,” says Google, “being the most-searched talk show host means Oprah Winfrey was searched more than all other talk show hosts over this 15-year span.”
“Google Trends data offers a unique look at what the world is currently searching for,” says the site. “And yet these trends can also help us understand what has endured: what has captured our attention over time, who has had an undeniable influence on history and who is shaping the future.”
Also on the site, Google reiterates its 2018 pledge to commit US$25 million to help “the next Black and Latino students develop the technical skills and confidence they need to succeed in career and life”. As part of the commitment, Google.org is providing a US$3 million grant and enabling volunteer support to help scale the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s program to give Black American high school students a platform to excel in STEM, humanities, business and the arts.
The NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program is a yearly achievement program comprising 32 competitions, which has run for more than 40 years and has hosted almost 300,000 participants.
“Growing up, I saw firsthand how the NAACP ACT-SO program inspired young Black talent to believe in and showcase their brilliance,” says Justin Steele, director at Google.org. “We know that 65% of students will work in careers that don’t even exist today, so programs like ACT-SO that are preparing, recognising and rewarding African American students are important to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to be innovators and culture makers.”
Black History Month runs in the US for the full month of February.