I woke up this morning to several texts, Snaps, and Instagram messages from family and friends sharing the exciting news: Selena Quintanilla was the star of today's Google Doodle. After watching the clip a dozen times, feeling all the feels, and sharing the story with all my networks, I took a moment to celebrate what a great feat of visual storytelling this was. Below are three things Google teaches us about effective visual storytelling.
1. Focus on audience.
Selena is a part of every Hispanic family. Her story of growing up in a Mexican-American family and having a dream that surpassed borders and expectations of what was possible for her is relatable to so many people. That's why her following is even stronger now, 22 years after her passing. Knowing about this connection, and how her milestones have become of emotional relevance to her audience, Google brilliantly launched this doodle on the anniversary of her first self-titled album.
2. Tell a story.
In today's era of data-driven marketing, storytelling often goes forgotten. However, this short video gets it just right in a mere 90 seconds. Starting off with the boombox that transports us to the days of Selena dreaming her wildest dreams as a little girl, to her family which became her bandmates and tour team, to highlighting iconic performances and her rise to everlasting stardom – the narrative arc is clearly defined. Even someone who has never heard of Selena before would get emotional watching the story of how she achieved her lifelong dreams. Tapping into emotions and universal human truths still reigns king, or in this case, queen.
3. Be authentic.
As Perla Campos, Google Doodle's Global Marketing Lead and person behind this Selena tribute shares, a lot of research and attention to detail went behind this creation. From her red nail polish to hoop earrings and lipstick stained microphones – the little details are what matters and make this piece so special. Working with Selena's family to ensure her story remained authentic helped put the ribbon on top of this beautifully produced gift.
Now let me go watch this a few more times because this has quickly become one of my favorite animations this year... I'm not crying, you are!
"Selena was always about transcending boundaries, and for someone who has such a powerful story to be featured on the homepage of Google—a search engine that connects people the way she connected people--that is such a beautiful thing. Featuring an immigrant woman should not be political, it should be celebrated."