Let’s Talk About Google’s New Home Alone Ad

Posted on December 19, 2018

If you’ve been on the internet today, you’ve probably seen Google’s new advertisement for the Google Home Assistant featuring Macaulay Culkin reprising his role as Kevin McCallister from Home Alone. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look:

Pretty good, right? Google has painstakingly recreated a set that is indistinguishable from the original set of Home Alone. Why is this ad so effective though?

We’ve talked previously about the effectiveness of nostalgia marketing. Here it is again. Google knows that this time of year, people tend to feel more nostalgic, so why not capitalize on something they know you’ll love? That’s the beauty of nostalgia marketing — it’s easy. You don’t have to come up with something people will like. You just have to use things people already like, and it works like a charm.

This ad is also effective because it’s a video. Video marketing is going to become the biggest player in advertising in 2019, and Google is getting started early. The interactive nature of a video initially engages customers using intrigue, and when they recognize something they used to love, they’re hooked. Anecdotally, I’ve seen the ad everywhere on social media.

Google is also seizing an opportunity to cash in on a hot commodity right now. Voice search technology is also going to boom in 2019, and Google is seizing that trend. This commercial would work with an Amazon Echo or an Apple Home Pod, but Google has struck first and grabbed attention with a viral video advertisement that influences people without them knowing it. Google has reached a market of Christmas lovers, Home Alone lovers, and Macaulay Culkin lovers (do those exist?), in addition to the people who already would have purchased Google’s device.

The ad has barely anything wrong with it … I would’ve used an actually transcendent player like LeBron instead of Kevin Durant. But, rather than digress, I will observe that it’s a short, sweet ad, and it accomplishes something big by engaging and maintaining a giant audience. Google holds the answers to all of our questions, and can now answer, “What would happen if Kevin was left home alone in 2018?”