Google Releases Emotional Ad About Grandparents Who Are Deaf

by Julie Scagell

Google’s ad for their accessibility functionality has people in their feelings

The pandemic has taught us all the need to connect and communicate in a new way. One new Google ad takes this to an entirely new level by telling “A CODA Story,” or “child of Deaf adults,” and you will need multiple boxes of tissues to get through it.

On April 25, during one of the Academy Awards’ commercial breaks, Google aired the ad, showing a family communicating using Google’s accessibility functionality. In it, the ad shows a boy, Tony, who was born to Deaf parents and shows him signing with them and translating the world through his eyes. It’s a simple message about staying connected to those you love hits but throws in a baby, a sweet family, and the proudest grandparents you’ll see, and it becomes a real tear-jerker.

Now, with this new technology that has features like live captions and video calls, he can stay connected to his parents, and they can stay connected to him and his growing family.

“When people in the hearing world hear this, they always want to know more,” Tony said during the ad. Then, it shows him Googling stats about people who are Deaf — 466 million people in the world in fact.

The ad then shows people Googling how to sign different words as a way to bridge the gap in communicating with those who are Deaf. “I’ve always had one foot in the deaf world and one foot in the hearing world,” Tony continued in the ad, explaining that translating for his parents throughout his life made them closer as a family.

He then said for his family, like millions of others, not seeing each other has been difficult and they’ve tried new ways of keeping connected. Now, with a family of his own, he wants to make sure his parents can see his new son. It’s the first time they have been grandparents, so you can imagine they don’t want to miss a thing.

If you’ve not gone through one box of tissues yet, you will during the ad’s final moments. Tony’s grandparents get to see their grandson roll over for the first time, getting bigger, smiling, and then signing “I love you to them.” Excuse me while I go blow my nose.

The power of technology allowed all of us to see each other during a time that was beyond challenging. Finding a new way to connect meant everything, and this ad nails that message like none other. The Oscar should have gone to whomever put this together and also to the makers of Kleenex for supporting everyone who watched it.