Facebook has never really relied on ad campaigns in the past. A small start up website became a worldwide phenomenon mostly by word-of-mouth. Occasionally Facebook will promote a new feature, but most of the time any self promotion is done directly on their site. Just recently Facebook solidified its title as ‘The Social Network’ by hitting the 1 billion user mark.
A week after reaching this major milestone the company released its very first ad campaign: Facebook: The Things that Connect Us. The video is only a little over a minute long and compares the social network to things like airplanes, bridges, and chairs. Most of the comparisons in the clip are pretty spot on, after-all Facebook clearly has a knack for connectivity. The chair analogy however, is a little more complex. The ad says that chairs are for everyone, “anyone can sit in a chair”, they are place where people go to sit down (duh), people can sit down together (if the chair is big enough), and chairs are a place where people can tell jokes from or share stories. The ad claims that chairs, just like planes, bridges and doorbells, are things that people use to get together. Furthermore, the video points out the universe’s ability to make us feel alone, which is why we have created things that connect us.
Personally, I think this is a good ad campaign. The chair example is definitely a stretch when taken out of context, but overall the video makes a clear trajectory of meaning from start to finish. So it might seem a little silly that Facebook is comparing itself to chairs, but I really think the more confusing comparison is the doorbell.
Regardless of metaphor choices, the overall message of the ad is true: Facebook brings people together (1 billion people), and people turn to Facebook to feel connected. So, pull up a chair…friend someone.