The ads are being hosted online now and will air on TV from next week, beginning 23 December.
The spots show themes being typed into the Google search bar – for instance "new beginnings" and "goodbyes" – and then cut to images of the most searched-for events of the year, such as the birth of Prince George and the death of Nelson Mandela.
Adam & Eve/DDB created the 2013 spots. Aidan McClure and Laurent Simon were the creative team behind the campaign and the production company was Across The Pond. OMD and Essence handled the media planning and buying.
Google has created different versions of the 'zeitgeist' video for France, Germany, the UK and US – its key markets. Each video is based on the most-searched moments in that specific country. For instance, only the German version contains a reference to the death of the actor Otto Sander.
The ads, which end with the line "search on", feature the song ‘Feels Like Coming Home’ by Jetta.
This is the first year that Google has created country-specific 'zeitgeist' ads. In 2012, a single, US ad was made by the creative agency Whirled. In addition to the country-specific videos, Google has created a zeitgeist website showing various trends.
A&E/DDB also created an online campaign to draw attention to the website hosting the ads.