But this year, the search giant waded into political territory, posting a short animated love story that features a snapshot of two men in tuxedos at the end, what appears to be an homage to gay marriage.
The HTML5 animation, which revolves around a young man’s failed attempts to use Google searches to woo his jump-roping sweetheart, was co-created by Michael Lipman, an animator from the hit Web animated series Happy Tree Friends.
Lipman told TechCrunch that Google only gave him three weeks to finish the project, when it normally would have taken him 10 to achieve the same results.
But he conspicuously didn’t address the most interesting part of the video: A collage of various couples that appear at the end, including an astronaut and a squid-like alien, a princess and a frog, a cat and a dog, a white man and a black woman, a cookie and a milk carton and the two gents in tuxedos in the front and center.
However, as PC World pointed out, the timing of the video was especially poignant:
Yesterday, Washington state legalized gay marriage — possibly with the help of a letter to the governor from Microsoft and five other tech companies — and the New Jersey Senate also voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriages, though the bill has some challenges ahead.
Google has also expressed support for gay rights in the past. In May 2011, the company released a video ad for its Chrome Web browser that also promoted the “It Gets Better” campaign (to the ire of some users). In June 2011, the company installed a rainbow at the end of the search bar, in support of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. However, that campaign was also criticized by gay rights supporters for being too subtle, with the rainbow only appearing when “gay friendly” terms were searched.
Correction: This article originally misidentified the milk carton’s partner as an egg. It is, in fact, a chocolate chip cookie, as a reader pointed out. We have since corrected the error in copy and regret it.