Oscar Contender Starring Dev Patel And Rooney Mara Was Also A 2013 Google Maps Ad

Watch the trailer for Lion, based on the story of Saroo Brierley, who also told his inspiring tale in a 2013 Google ad.

Oscar Contender Starring Dev Patel And Rooney Mara Was Also A 2013 Google Maps Ad
Dev Patel stars in Lion [Photo: Mark Rogers, courtesy of The Weinstein Company]

The world of advertising is one primarily made up of contrived stories engineered to provoke an emotional response in an effort to manipulate our hearts and minds into buying a product. Some of these stories are better than others, and even the fake stories can be compelling. But the marketing magic really kicks in when a brand is able to find a real and authentic tale to tell. And marketers know that it makes us feel much better to make a purchasing decision based on something real than an idea dreamed up in a boardroom somewhere.

Back in 2013, Google used the story of Saroo Brierley, who outlined in his best-selling memoir A Long Way Home how he used Google Maps to find his long lost village and family in India, after being adopted and raised in Australia, in an ad to illustrate the very real, and emotional impact that technology can have on our lives. Now that story is being retold by Hollywood in a new film called Lion, from director Garth Davis starring Dev Patel as Brierley, along with Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman.

No doubt everyone in Google’s marketing department is smiling right about now. Lion premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before its theatrical release on November 25.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor and writer with Co.Create. He's a former staffer at Advertising Age, Creativity and Canadian Business magazine.