Video of the Week: Arcade Fire Teams with Google

This week Parthenon watched the (now famous) Arcade Fire video “The Wilderness Downtown,” produced by Chris Milk in tandem with Google. To fully enjoy the video’s features, you’ll need to download Chrome, Google’s internet browser.

When you visit the site, you’re asked to enter the address from the home where you grew up. Once the video starts, additional windows pop up to the beat of the song showcasing Google aerial and streetview images of your neighborhood with graphics overlaid. The video piqued our interest on a number of levels.

1. It’s user-centric

The video is great, the technology, arguably (see below), gives a glimpse of the next phase of the Web, but it is the user that matters the most, and this video does a great job of placing the user at the center of the experience. At the end of the video, the user is given the option to send a hand written note to a friend.

2. The technology (HTML 5) is pretty slick

Milk, the video’s producer, worked with a team at Google to build the video using HTML5, the next generation of HTML being developed to power the World Wide Web. As you’ll see if you watch the video, what this amounts to is a powerful user experience for video, graphics and fonts.

3. The marketing of Google Chrome

Often when marketers think of “browser wars,” we think of the mid-90’s and the rise and decline of Netscape. But to tech giants Microsoft, Apple and Google, the browser wars are far from dead. When Google announced it would be offering its own internet browser, named Chrome, it butted up yet again against Microsoft (which offers Internet Explorer, the most popular browser) and Apple (which offers Safari).

This video, which shows all of the features supported by Google Chrome, is sure to win over a few more converts in the process.