ad film, released last week, reminds me of its redesigns – I hear it getting dissed across the web, starting with the place I saw it first. (check the comments) In case you really haven’t seen it yet, here it is
The film is titled “The Things That Connect Us”, it uses real world objects – chairs, bridges, doorbells, dance floors, nations and so on – as analogies of how Facebook connects us, and suggests in the end that perhaps we make these things to remind us that we are not alone.
I have read perspectives on how some of the ‘metaphors’ are not universal enough, and that this ‘connect’ idea has been used by several brands already. At 1 billion monthly active users, I wonder if Facebook really needs a positioning statement and if this film was supposed to be that. It is different things to different people but at its base, it connects us. The film is not meant to acquire users, or retain them. There are other things that Facebook does that will achieve these ends more efficiently and effectively. It’s when marketers see it through the prism of a campaign or advertising that it seems a #fail.
So why did I like the ad? A couple of lines from the AdAge article (linked to earlier) are pointers – “Great brands don’t talk about themselves, they talk about what they really love.“, attributed to David Kennedy, and “The best marketing that we have is people coming to Facebook every day connecting with their friends, families, local business, but every once in a while we’re going to want to define for ourselves who we are and share our values…” from Facebook’s own consumer marketing head.
The first statement is about a purpose that the organisation has found for itself – the things it loves to do as an organisation. (A few quotes here would give a sense of what Zuck’s aspirations are) Call me naive, but it’s a compelling purpose that has the potential to go beyond business and profits and one that many people would love to work on because they can identify with it. That defines brand Facebook, and purpose is what the best of brands strive for. The second sheds light on the audience it is intended for – themselves primarily, and then users who can share their values.
So then, why not show it in their internal network, you might ask. Probably because they’re Facebook, sharing is in their DNA, like it or not.
until next time, share a like (or a dislike)
PS: In case you didn’t like it, you might like this parody