The first Facebook commercial was met largely with confusion and opened the floodgates for parodies. The king of social media compared itself to a chair in what seems to be an extreme marketing approach.
The commercial coincided with Facebook reaching one billion users and was created from marketing pros at Wieden + Kennedy. The 90-second ad compared Facebook to a bevy of everyday items like doorbells and airplanes.
“Chairs are for people, and that is why chairs are like Facebook,” says a female voiceover.
Apparently, Facebook is like pretty much anything you can imagine, reports FOX News . The influx of jokes began immediately. The commercial appeared in 13 countries and Mark Zuckerberg touts the ad as showcasing Facebook’s place in the world.
Beyond the Jokes
Everyone enjoyed making fun of the strange, laughable commercial, but some critics point to a deeper meaning. Zuckerberg’s approval of the ad cements the idea of the social media giant’s sense of self-worth. The culmination of the ad compares Facebook to the university and overtly implies that it’s clearly at the center.
It seems like you can compare Facebook to anything from an Amish furniture outlet to a nail salon. The point, according to the commercial, is that Facebook means you’re never alone. The camaraderie you get on Facebook is akin to a student and mentor at a learning annex or an hour of connecting with your favorite nail tech over a spa pedicure.
However, this idea is contrary to what many social media researchers have discovered.
Actually, You Are Alone
Recent studies on social media theorize that sites like Facebook can lead to feelings of loneliness. It can also feed narcissism. Anyone who’s noticed a particular friend’s thousands self-portraits and excruciatingly detailed posts every five minutes can vouch for that.
Serious critics of the commercial wonder if Facebook has fallen completely into the void of solitary narcissism. Other critics simply call the ad overly dramatized. If it wasn’t for the mention of Facebook in the ad, it seems similar to a non-profit organization’s appeal for funding. The colors are dark or neutral and the voiceover is subdued. It does nothing to actually make viewers feel happy, connected or social.
Combatting the Dark Universe
Viewers aren’t exactly sure what this ad was trying to evoke in audience members. Most people who see this ad are probably already on Facebook. If they’re not, are these scare tactics? Is it meant to promise the only answer and ray of light in the vast, pitch black universe of loneliness?
No matter what you think of the ad, it achieved a big goal. It got people talking, debating, spoofing and wondering what’s next. The first commercial from the social media giant is going to have a lot of pressure no matter which direction it goes. Maybe the secrets of the universe really can be answered with a like or a poke after all.
Chairs are for people, and that is why chairs are like Facebook.