Talk about the power of Google: when Google commemorated French photographer Robert Doisneau on its world websites with a simple photo collage, attendance at a Tokyo exhibition suddenly jumped to nearly double.
On April 14, the 100-year anniversary of Doisneau’s birth, Google posted a Google Doodle collage of four of his photographs superimposed with the Google logo. Users who moved their mouse over the collage were automatically shown Doisneau search results; on Google Japan, a top result was an ongoing retrospective at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Attendance immediately rose to 1.8 times the pre-Doodle level and visitors to the exhibit’s webpage tripled from 3,000-4,000 to 12,000 per day, according to Masako Sato of Crevis Co. Ltd., who curated the show. When I chatted with her on April 20, Sato reported that a large number of visitors were coming in saying, “I saw you on Google.”
It’s a great exhibit, by the way. Don’t miss the portraits of famous people, as creative and quirky as the subjects they portray –Edith Piaf, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Tati and Fernand Leger among others, or the very funny 1948 series on people’s candid reactions to a racy painting in the window of a gallery.