What Do You Say To 1 Billion Customers?

Facebook’s first-ever TV commercial doesn't mention the social media platform's big scale. Perhaps it should. If you want to tout your service as the glue that holds us together, there’s a number to consider: 1 billion, which is how many worldwide users Facebook recently hit.

Still, with 1 billion users there isn't much you can tell consumers about what Facebook essentially does. So what's your message?


The Facebook commercial -- a long one-minute, 15-second affair -- starts off by describing "chairs" as a way to connect (and perhaps rest) with friends and family. Other examples of "connection" are also disclosed. Including doorbells, airplanes, bridges, dance floors and basketball games.

The spot includes images of kids spinning around chairs in a street, young people sharing a joke in a cafe, elderly people sitting in a darkened room listening to another senior citizen, people walking across a deep forested tree-bridge, a sad young woman's face in a kitchen, and thousands of people gathering in a nondescript city square.



At the end, Facebook adds another word for connection: universe. This message is even more ethereal, with some wonderment.  Are we alone? Not if you have the right social media digital platform.

Facebook has had tons of non-traditional TV exposure since its inception (as have Twitter and Google). Some might say a regular-looking commercial isn't necessary in this digital age.

But maybe all of those billion people aren't regular Facebook users. Perhaps, for the bulk of Facebook-ers, the social media platform essentially connects them to a smaller universe of ongoing friends and family – whether through photos of a daughter's ballet performance, a vacation in Hawaii, or a funky business golf outing Northern California.

The missed message seems to be what Facebook can do for people's everyday lives -- better searching, shopping, sharing, and entertaining -- and that by using this people-attachment technology you can have a bit more growth.

But the commercial isn't exactly convincing, because its feel-good message tires in trying to find good feelings. So give me a chair. I need to rest -- and not connect.




4 comments about "What Do You Say To 1 Billion Customers? ".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, October 9, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.

    The commercial represents everything Facebook is not. Real people actually talking face-to-face. Imagine that!

  2. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, October 9, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.

    I scoff at the word "users" when it comes to Facebook. 1 billion may have signed up, but if my circle of friends is an indication, just a fraction are actually on it on a regular basis. Of my 335 FB friends, I'd say 30-40 use it daily. Advertisers, be VERY wary of this deceptive figure.

  3. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 9, 2012 at 8:24 p.m.

    Not all billion users are real.

  4. Vox Usi from The Voice of the User, October 12, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.

    Update: see the excellent spoof
    of this lame ad

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