Google has closed its 2020 in search and it's completely different from previous years, just like 2020 for everyone.
The global campaign, which kicks off with a 3-minute film translated into more than 50 languages, shows that the world has asked why on Google Trends data more than ever before.
Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic took center stage this year, topping the search and news lists on Google. The film devotes a lot of time to the topic.
"The most human trait is wanting to know why," says Boston-based Ghanaian-American poet and musician Kofi Lost. The film then marches through the often difficult year, driven by further "why" questions like "Why can't I sleep?", "Why is the NBA being postponed?" and "Why is it called Covid-19?" The virus dominated the search and our mind. But the film doesn't leave out the other major events of the year.
We see pictures of people talking and staying entertained when they stay home. The NBA bubble, zoom calls, and finding toilet paper make the cut. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the protests that followed are key moments. The deaths of Kobe Bryant, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chadwick Boseman and John Lewis are remembered as well as the Australian forest fires, the explosion in Beirut, and the moments of positivity and meeting of people. The message "Search in" closes the film.
An original piece of music was created for the film, produced in collaboration with Grammy Award winner Peter Cottontale and musical collaborators Cynthia Erivo and Chance the Rapper. The song "Together" will be released in full on Friday.
The search results also showed that Tom Hanks was the most searched actor, Parasite the most popular movie, "WAP" the most searched text, and Joe Biden the most searches for the "Person" category. You can find the full results here.
Google is also working with Pop-Up Magazine to produce a 52-page print magazine that represents a physical time capsule of the year. 300,000 printed copies are distributed as newspaper inserts in top DMAs across the country, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.