Google Reboots Classic Alka-Seltzer Ad

Google is re-imagining some classic television commercials for a new project. While today's younger web surfers might not recognize ads from the 70's, Google wants to change that.

Way before Twitter and Facebook, the 1970's Alka Seltzer commercial - "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" - went viral the old fashioned way.

"This was spread over the dinner tables and water coolers across America", said Howie
Cohen, who came up with the catchphrase, blurted it out after an all-too-rich dinner.

"Pasta, chicken, veal, beef, lobsters. I had to eat everything in front of me and I lean back and I said, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" and my wife said there's your next Alka Seltzer commercial" explains Cohen.

Google's Aman Govil explains, "So, the idea behind Project Rebrief was, how do we use technology and advertising to really just re-imagine what people are doing with it today and make it better for tomorrow".

The re-imagined ad is totally interactive, it adapts to the person watching it.

Govil said, "If you're watching it on advertising pages, his friends work in advertising. Versus if you're watching it on a cooking page, his friends are chefs".

You can also change the radio station being played in the background or call in and interact with the actor.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" reached millions of people all at once on three TV networks. This reaches millions of people one at a time, where they live, in real time and it invites them to interact with the story, totally different role", added Howie.

Re-brief is an excuse to show off new advertising tools being created by Google, and although things have changed, Howie still knows the secret to going viral.

Howie said, "Uh, I think the magic of that ad is that it's something that everyone can relate to. Everybody has been in that situation, where they just overindulge, eaten too much, gone too far and they felt that feeling in their stomach. And the line gave them something to say at the right time".

Google is also re-imagining classic ads from Coca-Cola, Volvo, and Avis. To check out Project Re-Brief, click here.