Life Is Made of Moments (In Which You Buy Things)

I’m angry at this Google ad.

Google Micro-Moments ad.

So it turns out that this Google ad is almost a year old, but it just started showing up in my YouTube preroll rotation, and it makes me so angry.

Here’s the deal. We start with this zoom-in-from-space montage, taking us from the cosmic to the individual, accompanied by these words:

Life isn’t lived in years

Or days

Or even hours.

It’s lived in moments.

The reason I’m probably so angry with this commercial is because I really liked the opening! Stars! Trees! Babies! People dancing! It made me want to live in the moment, or at least to appreciate the concept of living in the moment.

Then we learn what “living in the moment” means.

A woman sits alone at a cafe. Another woman approaches and embraces a friend. The woman sitting alone lets her eyes linger on the other woman’s bright orange heels. She Googles those heels and buys them for herself, as the screen reads:

I-could-pull-those-off moments.

A man tries to stuff baby gear into the trunk of his car and fails. He uses Google to start shopping for a new car. The screen reads:

If-only-we-had-an-SUV moments.

The ad continues, because this is one of those preroll ads that keeps going, daring you to assume it would ever end, that you could walk away from your laptop and get a glass of water and come back to whatever you really wanted to be watching.

According to Google, every moment is an opportunity for you to buy something. Every moment is an opportunity for you to want, to take, to spend. Moments are full of awkward problems and uncomfortable desires and Google is ready to help you fix those moments with money.

Technically, Google calls them “micro-moments,” and they’re way bigger than this ad campaign. Here’s a Google article from last month, indicating that marketers are not only going to want to fix but also anticipate these moments:

Micro-Moments Are Multiplying-Are You Ready for the Future of Marketing?

Consumers have become more empowered than ever to get what they want, when they want it. Waiting has become a thing of the past. That translates into today’s pervasive micro-moment behavior — immediately turning to a device to know, go, do, and buy.


In this new age, it won’t be enough just to be present across more micro-moments. We’ll all be expected to stay a step ahead of consumers — to know their needs even better than they do. Successful marketers will have a much deeper understanding of their customers at every encounter. They’ll focus on acquiring a detailed, data-driven view to really know them and help them along their individual journeys. That’s the assistive mindset that will be required to win.

So that’s what we can look forward to, I guess. Marketers helping us along our individual journeys by telling us exactly what to buy and when.

Because life isn’t lived in years or days or even hours. It’s lived in purchases.

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