For once, the actual football of Super Bowl XLIV outshone the commercials as Drew Brees and the Saints outwitted Peyton Manning's Colts in a thrilling roller coaster of a game. Ad-wise, the usual fireworks from Anheuser-Busch and GoDaddy were OK, and PepsiCo’s (NYSE:PEP) "Snack Attack Samurai" was a favorite. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), however, made a splash precisely because it was a fresh face in the crowd. Google is growing up before our eyes, doing all kinds of mature stuff we've never seen before.

Never before has the online search giant paid its way into television's biggest party, and this one-minute splurge of a first entry likely cost the company about $5 million. The spot itself wasn't terribly expensive, though: Using search queries and their results as a novel storytelling medium, Google chronicles a trans-Atlantic love affair that ends in marriage and babies, and the video has been getting overwhelmingly positive comments on YouTube over the past three months.

“Parisian Love” was no high-budget spot specially designed for Super Bowl stardom, but simply one of several text-heavy Google ads that have been hanging out on YouTube for a couple of months. This one got the best reviews and highest traffic, so the engineering-minded Google folks sent it off to share the world's biggest stage. Google is eating its own cooking by making real business use of YouTube's open community.

Now, even a caveman knows about Google these days, and the video didn't show any astonishing new Google features. But brand advertising is all about making an emotional connection with the audience, and “Parisian Love” certainly did that. Bing commercials from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are more technical, and I haven't seen a TV spot for Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) search in years.

Super Bowl ads often kick off larger campaigns, so I wouldn't be surprised to see shortened versions of “Parisian Love” across CBS (NYSE:CBS), Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC, News Corp.’s (NYSE:NWS) Fox, and other national networks. That'll be Google trying to transform itself from the cold logic of a search tool into a more human service. Alongside humanitarian efforts in places like China or Haiti, green energy research, and much more, Google is pulling in new customers by the heartstrings.

Did you love “Paris,” or should Google just stay out of football? Discuss in the comments below; no arm tackles allowed!

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Disney and Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Walt Disney and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. PepsiCo is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.