Thursday was a big day for Facebook as it announced that it has reached 1 billion active users and launched the first ad created by an agency to promote the social media network.
Facebook had 900 million users back in April, before its IPO. In half a year 100 million users were added to the network and this seems to be a long awaited moment as Mark Zuckerberg already had a commercial that celebrates all these users that log in each day to the network up his sleeve.
The ad was created by the Wieden & Kennedy agency, the same one that came up with the famous slogan “Just do it” for Nike and had other impressive accomplishments through the years. From the looks of it, the video hits a soft spot as many are conquered by it.
The spot emphasizes things that are used “to open up and connect, share”, things like chairs, which are for people to sit on or like Facebook, like bridges, airplanes and others. The video highlights some of the American special symbols or passtimes – like basketball – and uses words that are associated with this country – like “a great nation”. The idea is very clear: the ad states that we are not alone, suggesting that Facebook helps people connect. It also creates a link between Facebook, a social network, online environment, and real things we get to use everyday – doorbells, chairs, telephones, etc. It really seems like this is the trend of the moment – creating and revealing connections between the online and offline environments, and emphasizing connections as well.
“We’re creating this for our users, but we think it’s a message that will be interesting and relevant to non-users as well,” said Rebecca Van Dyck, head of consumer marketing at Facebook. “We feel like we need to be respectful and introduce ourselves and to say ‘This is what we believe in’ and ‘Come on board.’”
Will this campaign and all of the other new features launched be enough for Facebook to succeed in raising the price of its shares? Before answering this question, consider the fact that there are already voices on famous website Mashable arguing that some of the objects used to create the analogy in the spot are not well chosen ones – for instance doorbells. Let’s also not forget that Facebook doesn’t in fact bring people closer, but makes them lonelier, standing isolated in front of a computer, as pointed out by Michael Weekley. True, it helps you conect with people that are far away or that we don’t see everyday, but it is not a substitute for real life and real interactions.