Duo is Google’s most popular consumer-facing social app. Over the years it has seen a number of ads, with the latest debuting on Sunday and featuring narration by the late Dr. Maya Angelou.
The minute-long Angelou Google Duo ad starts with the app’s icon and name against a white background. She briefly appears on-screen and monologues “Love Liberates.”
“I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.'”
Google does not use the entire passage, and jumped ahead at several points to make the video more concise. As she is speaking, Duo is shown in use on all types of mobile devices, including the Pixel 3 and iPhone.
Google Duo for web is seen running on a Pixelbook, while the Pixel Slate also makes an appearance. Features like group calling, sending video messages, and Knock Knock were showcased, with the latter actually coming off as contextually appropriate and useful to stream your feed before a recipient picks up.
The American poet and Civil Rights activist makes a final appearance at the end, with “Share the love with a little help from Google Duo” closing out the ad. The video appears to originate from recordings by Dr. Angelou made for Oprah in 2010.
Advertising for Duo often appears during the holiday season, with today’s Angelou Google Duo ad joining the company’s last celebrity-backed video featuring Mister Rogers singing and narrating for the Pixel 3 and Google Lens.