Google brings to life a ‘Season in Search’ in new digital and TV campaign campaign via Emotive


With the close of the 2019 AFL and AFLW seasons, Google has unveiled a compelling digital and television campaign documenting the moments that set fans searching. The film was created, produced and distributed by creative agency, Emotive, in its first piece of work for the brand.


The film looks back at the moments that made Aussies search, cheer and come together, inspired by a combination of Google Trends data, collated over the 2019 AFL and AFLW seasons.

The campaign launched 48 hours prior to the Grand Final with a 2-minute hero film distributed via 15 current and former players uploading the film across their respective social accounts. On Grand Final day, the long length was featured on YouTube’s masthead, and then a 60” iteration was played out in the AFL FTA broadcast on Channel 7 and live at half time at the AFL Grand Final. After 4 days the film has already amassed 2.8 million views and over 87,000 social engagements.

The Season in Search story is one of progress and rising in the face of adversity, with many of the season’s defining moments reflecting issues of diversity, gender equality and struggles with mental health.

Using search insights from Google Trends data along with innovative creative testing that used facial coding technology to maximize emotional intensity, the team at Emotive worked closely with Google to bring to life the most powerful story of the season, through the lens of Google Search. It includes stories of teams who have progressed against the odds, players who have progressed to unthinkable milestones, and importantly a sporting community that has progressed to a greater sense of human understanding.

From queries looking for understanding, “why is everyone talking about Tayla Harris” to broad and purposeful queries like, “how to show respect,” the film recaps a tumultuous season before one of Australia’s most important sporting events of the year, the AFL Grand Final.

Says Aisling Finch, director, Google AuNZ: “As another epic AFL and AFLW season has come to an end, we wanted to highlight the moments that inspired, challenged and brought Aussie fans together – with a little help from Google Search. Aussie Rules Football holds a special place in the hearts of so many Australians. This campaign demonstrates how Google plays an important part in not just putting the answers we need at our fingertips, but helping us with ‘how to’, and find inspiration and progress.”

Says Ben Clare, group creative director, Emotive: “For all the season’s difficulties and challenges, there were also moments of levity, perseverance and triumph. We wanted to capture that in a way that would elicit a strong emotional response, but importantly, serve as a poignant reminder that progress is worth searching for. That’s the powerful thing about search. In asking ‘why’ or ‘how’, we discover a way forward. And whilst this campaign is essentially a retrospective – a look back on 2019 – it also reminds us to look ahead.”

Says Tayla Harris, featured AFLW star: “This season has started so many conversations. Conversations we needed to have, and I think the game is the better for it. Seeing that there’s been record Searches for AFL Women this season in Australia is incredible and to be a small part of that is so humbling.”

Client: Google
Content Strategist: Scott Dooley
Associate Product Marketing Manager: Nicholas Hirst
Product Marketing Manager: Pat Barclay
Marketing Specialist: Annie Loo
Product Marketing Manager: Maura Halpin
Head of B2C Marketing, Apps & Platforms: Zoe Hayes
Director of Marketing Australia & New Zealand: Aisling Finch

Creative, Production and Distribution: Emotive
CEO: Simon Joyce
CSO: Tyler Wilson
Business Director: Sarah Clifton
Group Creative Director: Ben Clare
Executive Producer: Hayley-Ritz Pelling
Head of Distribution & Analysis: Jamie Crick
Sound: Rumble Studios
Music Track: Montaigne, Glorious Heights – Sony Music Australia (master) & BMG (publishing)
VFX: White Chocolate

Media: Essence
Senior Client Services Director: Brett Carson
Senior Media Planning Director: Jamarr Mills
Media Activation Manager: Jules Martin
Media Activation Executive: Olivia Ong