The 2012 Valentine’s Day Google Doodle appearing on Google's homepage today should bring a smile to the lips of even the most cold hearted cynics among us. Google’s animated short features the age old love story: a boy trying to impress a girl. It is set to "Cold, Cold Heart,” written by the legendary Hank Williams and performed by iconic American pop/jazz/show tunes singer Tony Bennett.
Also, a fun Valentine’s Easter egg will thrill the math geeks in the crowd (and I know you’re out there). Before we get to that, have a look at the Doodle. It shows a young boy, waving a red and pink “Play” button back and forth above the search bar. Behind him sits a light blue, seemingly hand-sketched Google logo.
Google Doodle a Story of Unrequited Love
Pressing the Play button launches the video within Google's homepage, which starts with a boy searching Google, presumably for a Valentine’s Day present for the object of his affection. He brings to his pony-tailed, jump-roping love a single red rose, inspired by Google Images results. Sadly, he is rebuffed without so much as an explanation, as she stops only briefly, then continues on as though he hasn’t just put his heart out there for her to take. Oh, the humanity!
Google continues to pull on the heartstrings as the boy searches again, this time attempting to win her affections with a box of chocolates. What girl can say no to chocolate? This one can; she says nothing at all and continues merrily skipping rope, while he returns to his computer, dejected, to continue searching.
He tries a dinosaur sweater. No deal. (What is wrong with this girl? That sweater is awesome.) A balloon animal. A purple teddy bear. A retro scuba helmet. A pie... is it cherry? It must be cherry. A rabbit in a top hat, a radio, a red heart balloon, a paper airplane.
Nothing! She’s not impressed. What’s a boy to do?
In the background, Bennett croons, “I tried so hard, my Dear, to show that you’re my every dream... Yet you’re afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme...”
Finally, the boy realizes showering her with gifts just isn’t going to work. He takes up a skipping rope of his own, and as Google gives us all a lesson in what true love really means, he begins skipping alongside her. That was all she wanted! She doesn’t wants chocolates or balloons or fancy dinosaur sweaters. She wants a man to stand beside her. And jump rope.
As the instrumental line of “Cold, Cold Heart” picks up, she swoops into his arms. Smiling from ear to animated ear, they take up one rope together and, as the music crescendos, begin to skip in tandem.
And so, true love and universal search prevail, as the boy realizes love is not materialistic, at least not for this girl, and wins the heart of his young lady friend.
Single girls the world over will be watching Google’s Doodle today, Adele’s “Someone Like You” playing in the background, sobbing over supersized chocolate bars because all the good men are animated. Though I have it on good authority that Google has been working on their Perfect Man prototype over at the Google X Lab; this video may be nothing more than a clever beta test to gauge our reaction to Manimation. (P.S., I may have just made all of that up.)
As the video concludes, images of couples pop up to demonstrate that anyone (and anything) can find their true love: a dog and cat, a gay couple, an astronaut and an alien, an interracial couple, a cookie and a carton of milk, a Princess and her frog. The comparison between very real interracial or gay relationships and the nonsensical pairing of astronauts and aliens leaves at least this person wondering. But hey, it’s a cartoon.
A frilly, red sketched Google Valentine’s Day card closes the video and search results for the term “Valentine’s Day” pop up immediately.
Google Has a Heart – An Easter Egg for Valentine’s Day
Since December, typing a mathematical function into Google’s search box has returned solutions in the form of an interactive graph. But a special combination of three algebraic functions will unlock Google’s big blue heart:
(sqrt(cos(x))*cos(200x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(9-x^2), -sqrt(9-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5
The blue function creates the heart; the red function creates the top half of the circle; and the orange function creates the bottom half of the circle.
Isn’t it romantic? Perhaps, for all you crazy math lovers out there. (P.S., This formula will also work on Wolfram|Alpha.)
Tony Bennett Finds Google Doodles Close to His Heart as an Artist
Tony Bennett rose to fame in the 1950s with hits like “Because of You,” and “The Beat of My Heart.” In 1962, he recorded and released the memorable, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Country legend Hank Williams first recorded and released “Cold, Cold Heart” in 1951. This was just months prior to Bennett’s pop version, which would hit the Billboard charts on July 20 and stay there for 27 weeks, peaking at No. 1. Other artists to record versions of the song include Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, and Ronnie Hawkins.
We contacted Bennett to see how he felt about his song’s inclusion in the Doodle as the soundtrack for this animated love story.
"I think the Google Doodle is a very creative premise and I love the fact that Google does a promotion with young people to submit their art for a Doodle, as children involved in the arts is very important to me,” Bennett told Search Engine Watch.
In the late ’80s and ’90s, Bennett’s career soared again; over his performing career, he has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Now an accomplished painter and artist, he is still a sought after singer.
“It’s a thrill to have my first No. 1 hit, the magnificent Hank Williams song, ‘Cold, Cold Heart,’ be used in the Valentine's Day Doodle and I want to thank the animator who created the Doodle as well as they did a terrific job,” he said. To our readers, Bennett sends his best wishes, saying, “Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!"