Google’s ‘Year in Search’ is an idealised version of 2022

“Can I change?” is the search term of the year in Google’s annual round up film. Here, 2022 — a difficult time for many — is presented as a year of rebirth, in which the Ukraine war is a marvellous display of freedom and courage with no downside in sight.

We see sporting achievements like the Olympics and the women’s Euros, and emotional Oscar winners (no reference to Will Smith’s violence, which is the most memorable thing about the ceremony) and plenty of space travel.


Maybe we all needed to see this very uplifting version of the year, but it’s not easy to reconcile such an idealised view of 2022 with the realities of war, climate disaster and economic crisis. Created in-house by Google Brand Studio.

MAA creative scale: 5

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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