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When Facebook got philosophical about chairs

Facebook obviously has the enviable position of stirring conversations with its every move. But does its latest ad blitz do much for the brand?

With the internet community and global publications (and expectedly, meme makers) already abuzz with their own take on the matter, Marketing got similar mixed reviews from local creatives.

The ad begins with a grandiose image of a red chair levitating in a forest with the next few scenes featuring people sitting in them.

A female voiceover begins: “Chairs. Chairs are made so that people can sit down and take a break. Anyone can sit on a chair. And if the chair is large enough, they can sit down together. And tell jokes. Or make up stories. Or just listen. Chairs are for people. And that is why chairs are like Facebook.”

The ad was created to publicise Facebook’s milestone of 1 billion users, and was created by Wieden + Kennedy. Adweek’s Tim Nudd wrote: “It won’t do much to convince anyone that Facebook isn’t, at its core, arrogant and condescending and not really to be trusted with the power it wields.”

Robert Gaxiola, creative partner, ManghamGaxiola slammed the ad, saying even The Social Network movie trailer would have been an improvement.

“Did Dan (Wieden) see this? Seriously speaking, I wonder if they really needed a TVC at all. I watched it three times looking for some redeeming something. Anything. I think they should just run The Social Network movie trailer instead. That was badass,” he said.

However, Goodfellas’ Patrick Low considered the spot well written, though the ad probably runs contrary to Facebook’s true effect on human relationships.

“This brand spot is well written and executed and definitely created to boost its share price,” he said.

“The irony is that we spend a large portion of our time searching and connecting with friends on Facebook but we have no time to sit down with them over a cup of coffee,” said Low.

“Words. Words are made so that people can use them to express themselves. Anyone can use words. And if the words are long enough, they will all stumble over.  And laugh at themselves.  People can add prefixes and suffixes to words. They connect words together to form sentences. Like ‘I hate timeline’. Then comes tenses, like ‘my dad just sent me a friend request’,” Rayner Lim, creative partner, Contagious, said.

“Words are for people. And timelines are not. And that is why chairs are not like Facebook. People will not find their chairs ‘upgraded’ to unicycles overnight. They will not quietly endure the sight of their favorite chairs taken away from them. The Universe. So vast. Makes us wonder if we’ll ever find pink elephants. Who knows. Meanwhile we still have timeline. And words,” he added.

If the only objective was to raise awareness on its scale, this ad has certainly met the goals. But whether it takes the brand any further is anyone’s guess.

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