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Interactive Annual 17:
entertainment

Google Chrome FastBall

Launch Movie

“Using the charm and simplicity of wooden toys to demonstrate non-tangible high-speed technology.” —Véronique Brossier

“Smart, fun and original. You know you’ve done a great job when a user is not only going through from start to finish but doing it multiple times over.” —Adrian Belina


Overview: This race across the Internet promotes a fast browser to an audience that’s immune to banner ads; it’s the first YouTube game of its kind to demonstrate how a Web experience is faster and easier when using Google Chrome. For it, the most popular services on the Web were turned into games: Google Maps, Twitter, Google Translate, Last.fm and Google Search all tested people’s wits and reflexes and cleverly demonstrated the browser’s speed. The task is to help a ball through a series of linked YouTube videos; when the ball gets stuck it’s moved along by quickly solving a challenge. Each game leverages data and functionality made possible by APIs from the various Web services.

  • • The video player for the experience is built on top of the YouTube API with six separate video players loaded on the page, each featuring a different piece of a handmade track comprised of handmade pieces.
  • • The interfaces and animations were all built from scratch, with the exception of the Google Search game, for which the Google Chart API was used to create the graph.
  • • In addition to all the digital technology, the development also required the use of more than twenty mouse traps, duct tape, rebar, Styrofoam and countless rubber bands to make the track.

Comments by Beth Ryan/Erik Holmdahl/Calle Sjoenell/Pelle Sjoenell

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “Nobody cares about browsers. Some people we were trying to reach couldn’t even tell you what a browser is. So we had to show what it means to be fast on the Web, racing across the Internet with fun-speed challenges. Turning services like Twitter and Google Search into games helped our audience care about something they normally didn’t even think about and helped make Chrome the world’s second most popular Web browser.”

Was the subject of this project a new one for you? “The films for Chrome Speed Tests proved the browser’s speed with playful handmade experiments using real objects such as potato guns, lightning and paint. We cracked the idea for Chrome FastBall by imagining what we could do if we used the Web in a similar way, treating Web services as building blocks that prove the speed of the Chrome browser. This site is equal parts speed challenge, social media game and experimental Google thing. The challenge: to race around the Internet and see if you’re truly Chrome Fast. At launch, Google sent a tweet out to their loyal fanbase. Interest was so high that we crashed the servers. Our sincerest apologies for breaking the Internet.”

Credits

Erik Holmdahl/Andrezza Valentin, art directors
Beth Ryan, writer
Petter Westlund, creative director
Kevin Roddy/Pelle Sjoenell/Calle Sjoenell, executive creative directors
Dominic GŽlineau, developer
Zach Blank, technology director
Patrik Blohme, editor
John Wilkinson, audio mixer
Nicole Muniz, producer
Sandra Nam/Jennifer Usdan McBride, interactive producers
Niklas Lindstrom, executive producer
B-Reel, production company
Adam Sober, architect
BBH New York (New York, NY), project design and development/ad agency
Google, client


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