This morning Facebook launched its very first advertising campaign. It’s targeted at Facebook users in 13 countries: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Spain, UK, and the US. The marketing will be translated into 12 different languages.
Just about everyone uses Facebook. After all, they have just hit 1 billion users — and they have gotten that far without any advertising at all. It begs the question: why does Facebook even need an advertising campaign.
I offer three answers. 1) After Facebook’s botched IPO, they are beginning to try attract shareholders again. 2) The spot, as they say themselves, is designed to celebrate hitting the 1 billion user mark. 3) The campaign, at least this first video, is intended to remind us all of why we use Facebook. In my opinion, this is likely the most important answer.
By comparing Facebook to chairs, bridges, airplanes and dance floors and other commonplace things they are attempting to solidify Facebook’s place in our world as yet another thing we, as humans, have built to connect us together — to remind us that we are not alone. That Facebook provides just another vital way for us to share our experiences with our friends and family. It reminds us of something we sometimes forget: that sharing our lives is more than a fun, social thing to do. It’s actually a basic need we have as a species.
In my opinion it’s a beautiful and surprisingly humble start — and while it could have stopped short of comparing itself to the whole universe near the end, overall it is well done.