• 07.27.12

Google Fiber Shows Off The History of The Internet Via Toy Cars (and The Cars)

In a new ad promoting Google Fiber, advances in downloading speed and storage over the years are demonstrated by the speed at which toy cars move, mail is delivered, and The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” is played.

There’s probably a case to be made for the decrease in average attention spans being inversely proportional to the increase in downloading speeds. When most civilians began using the Internet nearly 20 years ago, it took upwards of a half-hour to download a single image, and we were thankful because we didn’t know any better. Now if an image or video doesn’t appear instantly, we get mad. Of course, the increased speed has also empowered us to do amazing things, as demonstrated in a new ad for Google Fiber, which charts the Internet’s progress over the years.


In Google’s ad for the new high-speed Internet/TV service, now beta testing in Kansas City, the speed at which things happen on the Internet is rendered through the miniature world of toy cars. At the top of the ad, these cars move at a glacial pace, stuck in the world of the 56K dial-up modem. By the time we get to the age of Google Fiber, which has a downloading speed 100x greater than broadband, cars are zipping along so fast they barely stay on the street.

Created by agency Venables Bell & Partners, the new ad also uses a classic song by The Cars to memorable effect. Early on, we hear the tinny sounds of an 8-bit tune that very slowly begins to cohere into the recognizable rhythms of “Just What I Needed.” By the time we get to the Fiber age, however, the song is blasting loud and clear.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.