Thursday, October 4, 2012

Facebook x Wieden

Wide awake at 4am (I'm a bit of an insomniac these days), I was very excited to read AdAge's article announcing that Wieden+Kennedy landed the Facebook account, and that they just released a new spot in celebration of FB hitting 1B users. I love Facebook. And I generally love WK's work, & I personally believe WK is the best ad agency in the world (..but what do I know?). To top it off, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (director of the new FB ad), who also directed Nike's "Write The Future" soccer spot for the World Cup, as well as one of my favorite ads of all-time, P&G's Mom/"Best Job" Olympics spot. Needless to say, I had very high-hopes for Facebook's first commercial.

And then I watched it. And laughed. And asked, WTF?! I mean, the spot is beautifully shot. But seriously. Chairs are like Facebook? And doorbells? You just know there's going to be an SNL skit comparing FB to Twinkies, urinals, and tape dispensers because they, too, are inanimate objects that bring people together. Is FB trying to target old, senile people who don't have FB accounts & who spend most of their days sitting in chairs? I just don't understand how this ad is supposed to encourage people are aren't on FB to sign up. Or maybe that's not the objective of this spot. 

Since it's useless to bitch about something & not come up with any suggestions of your own, I guess if it were up to me, I'd focus more on humanizing the gigantic algorithm machine that is Facebook, or show the ways in which Facebook connects its users — ideally both. Show people who aren't on FB that the network isn't just some scary, cold, heartless network (and do so in a way that spares us analogies just begging to be mocked). Or take more of a Google approach, which features the different functionalities that enables friends & families to connect (though maybe WK/FB had to stay away from this approach because Google already did it..who the F knows). 

I do find it interesting to think about how FB can persuade people who don't have accounts. Who are those people? Are they not on FB due to moral reasons, governmental restrictions (e.g. China), economic circumstances (lack of money/access to technology), etc etc? Which of those people are FB going after? Or does FB even care about the non-users, and are instead trying to target current users and maintain the community, who are being bombarded by a gajillion other social networks popping up all over the place? Or does FB care more about targeting brands (e.g. sources of potential advertising revenue)? 

Anyway, supercool that W+K won the Facebook account. Jealous of everyone who's working on that — such an awesome challenge. Not pleased with the latest spot. It's not terrible, I just expected more from this dream team partnership. Looking forward to see what else they come out with. 

Here's the spot:

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