• 11.20.12

Build Your Own Mini-Movies In Google Docs With Story Builder

Part of the “Gone Google” initiative, Story Builder promotes the creative collaboration features of Google Docs.

Build Your Own Mini-Movies In Google Docs With Story Builder

If Hall and Oates hadn’t worked together to find the perfect lyric, fans might have been singing about a mangobbler. Thankfully, the songwriting duo worked it out and gave us the catchier ditty “Maneater.”


Daryl and John likely didn’t pen phrases such as “angry tiger,” “scary lady” or propose a woman who gobbles men, but they might have during their collaborative process, one that Google humorously illustrated in its Go Google “Hall and Oates” ad. (Another ad shows the awkward and funny familial tug-of-war that goes into planning a wedding guest list.)

Now, Google has built Story Builder, a tool that allows everyone to get in on the collaborative action. Rather than watching fictional scenes unfold, Story Builder enables people to experience the power of Google Docs by creating a story and making a sharable film out of it.

Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Google Creative Labs, and developed by Face Face Face, Story Builder allows users to create and edit lines of dialogue, set them to music and then watch the creative process unfold. The fun comes in how you choose to tell your story of collaboration.

“Story Builder is one of the components of what we like to call the Gone Google movement. It’s a better way for people to get things done using our productivity and communication tools like Gmail and Google Docs,” says Ed Sanders, Group Marketing Manager at Google Creative Lab. “It was important to have a component of Gone Google that was interactive, engaging, and fun. Story Builder captures the actual experience of using Google Docs better than just a static advertisement could.”

While Google Docs has been around since 2007, Marty Senn, Creative Director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, says part of the agency’s challenge was to raise general awareness around Google’s suite of productivity tools.

“I think Google is still a bit of the perceived underdog in this area. When people think of applications, people do tend to think of Microsoft first,” says Senn. “Google Docs is not just another work-type application, but there’s this spirit of collaboration in it and this amazing functionality that people might not be aware of. The challenge for us was how to create that thing that everyone can feel a part of, and doesn’t just end in that one-way piece of communication.”

Sanders says Story Builder is one of Google’s many digital experiments and is designed to be an open-ended tool. “Like any medium, I’m sure people will use it to tell the stories that matter to them–whether they’re funny, serious, imaginative, personal, or just whimsical. The Internet has shown us time and again that when you provide a creative platform for people’s imaginations the results will always surprise, delight, and exceed what you, [as a brand], can do on your own.”

About the author

Rae Ann Fera is a writer with Co.Create whose specialty is covering the media, marketing, creative advertising, digital technology and design fields. She was formerly the editor of ad industry publication Boards and has written for Huffington Post and Marketing Magazine.