What do you get when you put together a hamster, a cuckoo clock & Fats Waller?

Everyone at BBH New York is excited about the new work we’ve just launched for Google’s Chrome browser, follow-ups to the work we produced at the end of 2009.

The first film is for Chrome Extensions, and demonstrates how users can personalize their browser. The music used is Fats Waller’s (Do You Intend to Put an End to) A Sweet Beginning?

The second film is for Chrome Translate, the range of translation features that are built in to Chrome, and that enable users to seamlessly translate Internet pages from one language to another.

Both of these films are quite unlike most other tech product demos. They use lo-fi, hand-made elements and simple metaphors to show how the products work. There’s no hype. No extravagant claims. We instead try and keep everything simple.

As with our previous work for Chrome at the end of 2009, we worked with the extraordinary production team at 1st Avenue Machine in New York. The films were directed by 1st Avenue Machine’s Aaron Duffy & Tim Brown.

We hope you enjoy them. They look particularly great in HD on YouTube (click through the videos and then select the HD button).

And watch out for more new work for Google to come in the next few weeks.

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Client: Google EMEA

Titles: Google Chrome Extensions/Translate the Internet with Google Chrome

Agency : Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York

CCO: Kevin Roddy

ECD: Calle Sjoenell, Pelle Sjoenell

AD/CW: Maja Fernqvist

AD/CW: Joakim Saul

Head of Broadcast: Lisa Setten

Senior Producer: Melissa Bemis

Business Director: Ben Malbon

Acct. Manager: Rossa Hsieh

Production Company: 1st Avenue Machine

Director: Tim Brown

Co-Director: Aaron Duffy

DP: Zak Mulligan

Exec. Producer: Sam Penfield

Line Producer: Keeley Gould

Editorial Company: Lost Planet

Editor: Charlie Johnston

Assistant Editor: Christopher Huth

Exec. Producer: Krystn Wagenberg

Producer: Meagen Carroll

Telecine: Company 3

Telecine Artist: Billy Gabor

Online Facility: Black Hole

Online Editor: Tim Farrell

VFX Company: Black Hole

Producer: Tim Vierling

Audio Facility: Plush

Audio Engineer: Rob Fielack

Music: Extensions

Music Supervisor: Sara Matarazzo, Anna Lasxurain & Stephanie Diaz-Matos

Title: (Do You Intend To Put An End To) A Sweet Beginning Like This

Artist: Fats Waller

Music: Translate

Music Supervisor: Sara Matarazzo, Anna Lascurain & Stephanie Diaz-Matos

Title: Plastic Sunshine

Composed by: Steven Stern and Stuart Hart

Can you lend us your room for an exhibition?

We need your help.

We’re after a big room, studio or small stage in NYC for three days in January (14-16th). We’re trying to find a space where we can re-create the Chrome Features short films we’ve just made for Google.

For a start, we want to have a little party, and January seems like a good time to be doing that. But we’d like to open it up to anyone who wants to come along and have a look at how they were made. The space needs to be around 60 x 40 ft, with – ideally – some good height to the ceiling. If you have somewhere you can lend us, or you know someone who might, please email me at


Here are the films:


And here is a film about how we made them:


Google Chrome – Behind The Scenes

We’re super proud of the new work we’ve just created for Google in Europe, for the Chrome browser. If you haven’t seen it, take a look below. Hope you enjoy it.


We took Google’s ingenuity & innovation as inspiration in developing the idea for seven short films (& an intro), demonstrating the benefits of Google Chrome. Every creation is built by hand, filmed in camera, with no special effects added.  Even the music where Jacqui, the harpist, is playing is live on set. As it should always be with Google, the product is the hero. We celebrate the Chrome product, but we hope in a “Googley” way.

The films work as a longer single film of around 4 minutes, where the 8 films are merged together. We’ve designed annotations into the experience on YouTube; these are effectively hyperlinks to other films embedded into the film itself – like roll-over hotspots with links behind them. We hope this makes YouTube even more interactive. The transition device between films (the ‘notice board’) is based on annotations.

The project was especially fun from a collaboration point of view. BBH New York, BBH London & the team at Glue London worked super closely together with the Google team on the development of the strategy, creative and media. The Director was Aaron Duffy and the production company were 1st Avenue Machine in New York.

Here’s a peek into the production process where you can see a little of the intensity and excitement that results when you gather a bunch of geeks, designers, artists and a harpist together in a small studio. The knitted props were actually knitted by the Director, pretty much there and then.


A lot of people worked very hard during an intense but awesome process. The Google clients (based in London) were very much part of our team too. It was fun. I hope that shows.

Here are a few photographs we took on set.










We love Google Goggles


Google Goggles is a new ‘visual search’ app for Android phones. Instead of using words, take a picture of an object with your camera phone: Google then attempt to recognize the object, and return relevant search results. Goggles also provides information about businesses near you by displaying their names directly in the camera preview.

As Google make clear, this is far from perfect yet, but it’s still getting us thinking about how we might use this kind of technology for clients.

Wonder when it will work with social networks? And wonder when it’s out on iPhone?

screen-shot-2009-12-14-at-43503-pmMore detail on Goggles on Google’s site, here.

(Full disclosure: Google is a client of BBH)

“Data tells stories about our lives”

Mind blowing: Flight patterns by Aaron Koblin
Mind blowing: Flight patterns by Aaron Koblin
If data visualisation is the new rock and roll, Elvis has (just) left the building. Aaron Koblin played to an enthralled audience of BBH-ers this afternoon, blew our minds and incredibly kindly agreed to be interviewed by Labs afterwards.

Our interview to follow soon, but to whet your appetite, a quick download of our (and your) key questions for the rock star of the data visualisation world.

Balancing immediacy and intrigue: A frequent criticism of data visualisation is that while often extremely beautiful, sometimes it doesn’t make the information contained any clearer-it can sometimes even seem to obfuscate in the name of art. Should great data visualisation simplify or should it embrace complexity and reward exploration? Should it be reductive or expansive in intent?
Where left brain meets right brain: When embarking on a project, which comes first, the data or the technique? How critical a role does software play? Do the themes and memes recurring in data visualisation reflect the artists’ preoccupations or the data sets available?
Proliferation versus privacy: One of the key enablers of data visualisation is the phenomenal explosion in the amounts of data we now generate everywhere we go. We live in a golden age of open-ness around personal data but will we reach a tipping point where we reclaim our personal privacies? Or will we opt in to share anonymised data for the common good?
The power of synesthesia: Some of the most compelling data visualisation projects are those which express one medium-almost one sense- by means of another. Visually representing dance or music, aurally representing data sets-what is it we find so compelling about this “synesthetic” effect?

Crowd-sourcing versus the wisdom of the crowd: Koblin’s recent work experiments with crowd-sourcing but suggests an ambivalence about the process. While a central theme of data visualisation is the wisdom of the crowd, how does it skew the data if the crowd knows it’s being watched? Is the unconscious wisdom of the crowd purer and more compelling or is conscious collaboration of the masses the future? How important is the role of the curator in that process?

Answers – or at least compelling and considered answers – on a blogpost near you shortly….