If you haven’t already seen the inaugural commercial for Facebook, allow me to be the first to congratulate you on finding your way out from under that rock. In celebration of their 1 billionth user (that’s billion, with a B), the social networking giant hired Wieden + Kennedy to create a 90-second spot about chairs.
Alright… to be fair, it’s about a lot more than just chairs and I shouldn’t really say anything too negative, seeing as how I recently applied for a job at W+K. In spite of myself, the first time I watched the spot (entitled The Things That Connect Us) I got the warm-fuzzies all up inside me, as I’m sure most of you did. But the longer I sat and thought about it, the more enraged I became.
Just why the hell does Facebook think they need a commercial? Certainly, everyone’s got the right to advertise their product, no matter how large or small they may be. Take McDonald’s, for example. They serve roughly 70 million people (that’s about 1% of the world’s population) every day but you can’t turn on the TV or walk a block in the city without seeing one of their ads.
The key difference here is that McDonald’s has competition. If you want a burger, you’ve got options. Mickey D’s has to stay relevant or else everyone might end up eating Whoppers instead. But when you log on to the Internet and want to connect with your friends, colleagues, or that girl from the laundromat, you get on Facebook. There’s never been anything quite like Facebook and, hard as others may try to emulate the formula, there likely never will be. As much as it pains me to admit, we’re stuck with it and it’s only going to continue to grow.
So, Facebook… if you’d like to celebrate all you’ve achieved during the past nine years, why don’t you show a little appreciation for the billion people who, at the core, are responsible for your success? Rather than spending a fortune to explain to us how chairs work, give us something new. Give us a better mobile application. Or, better yet, fix your God damn privacy settings! Here’s a fun trick:
1. Log onto Facebook
2. Go to Privacy Settings
3. Click on “Edit Settings” next to Ads, Apps and Websites
4. Next to Apps you use, click “Turn Off”
BAM! Now, not only are third-party sites blocked from phishing through your personal data, but never again will you see a request to play Farmville with that annoying hipster from the office.