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Things that connect us : Facebook’s 1st ad ==> Cold like the universe !

facebook chair ad

It’s a question you’ve probably asked yourself one day: Will Facebook launch a commercial one day?
Since its beginnings in 2004, Facebook has always concentrated its communication on the web. We had to wait till the world greatest social media reaches 1 billion active monthly users to discover its 1st commercial « The things that connect us ». Artistically speaking, it’s a nice piece of filmmaking…but, with nothing extraordinary, nothing to be proud of. I was really waiting for something more creative.

I am tempted to say that the only guy who did a great job in this ad is the photography director, capturing some great images to give a sense to a copy which doesn’t really seem to be strong enough to celebrate such a great event.  The narrator was looking for some deepness  he never found trough all these metaphors comparing Facebook to chairs, doorbells, planes, bridges…I might understand that the ad is trying to humanize Facebook by comparing it to things and places that create a human contact… But I don’t feel this relation, « Facebook is like a chair » seems far-fetched. More than that, the symbolism and the simplicity of the writing is a little bit … silly!  »…Chairs are for people’ Oh i didn’t know that 😀

I see in this ad an attempt to show that Facebook’s reason of being is to make us feel more social, more human, connect us and help us get together. But we’re not going to believe this just because the ad doesn’t show any laptop, Smartphone or tablet and describing in a beautiful emotional way the good feeling of sharing a moment with a friend. it just looks very « artificial », you don’t feel  yourself involved in the action and the story of the ad.

« So maybe the reason why we make all of these things is to remember ourselves that we are not » this is definitely the only deep idea in this ad, it’s the only which really touched me.

Finally, I would like to make a point on the choice of Wieden + Kennedy to create this campaign. No one can argue the fact that the agency is a star in making ads celebrating humanity ( P&G moms and find your greatness by Nike), but this time, it didn’t turn out to be a success. For the simple reason that instead of celebrating the 1 billion people who use Facebook, the ad is praising Facebook itself. It might be a beautiful ad but it doesn’t have that argument that makes us believe that Facebook isn’t just another capitalistic untrustful brand.

All this lead me to an important question : Does Facebook make us more social ? We might be more accessible and feel more comfortable at creating new relationships but in real life we’re more isolated. We like and comment our friends’ pictures and activities but we share fewer moments with them. we have more « friends » than we used to have 5 years ago but are they really friends ? The ad says that Facebook is among those things that connect us, but does a « happy birthday » on a friend’s wall means that we’re connected?
It seems like « Social Media » is an oxymoron! What do you think? 

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  1. Not sure if i agree with you on everything you said in this article, but it was a pleasure reading it. It seems to me that your style is getting better ;)… Big up !

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