Facebook commercial wants you to feel emotional about chairs

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com  |  Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM
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What would Don Draper have to say about this?

Facebook celebrated its one billionth active user by releasing the service's first ever commercial, "The Things That Connect Us," a sentimental spot that attempts to link Facebook to other things that bring people together -- like basketball games, airplanes and um, doorbells.

Directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (He made that sob-worthy "Olympic Moms" commercial for P&G), the minute-and-a-half-long video extols the value of chairs as a conduit for social connection.

"Chairs are made so that people can sit down and take a break," the voiceover says. "Anyone can sit on a chair and if the chair is large enough they can sit down together. ... Chairs are for people, and that is why chairs are like Facebook."

Founder Mark Zuckerberg shared the video in a post on his Facebook page.

"It's a moment to honor the people we serve," he said.

For the first time in our history, we've made a brand video to express what our place is on this earth. We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It's what brings us together. It's what brings meaning to our lives. Facebook isn't the first thing people have made to help us connect. We belong to a rich tradition of people making things that bring us together.

Not everyone's a fan though. In a post titled "The Facebook Commercial Is All Kinds of Wrong," Mashable's Lance Ulanoff railed against the ad, saying that while "evocative" and "beautiful," the video fails to show a single computer or tell you anything about the company behind the world's largest social network.

Writes Ulanoff:

If I were making an ad for Facebook, I would have shown Mark Zuckerberg (though I do not think I would have let him speak) and maybe some of the regular people and faces that work on the social network. I would seek to humanize and connect the audience to the people with whom we trust our deepest thoughts, desires, images and videos.

"Facebook Commercial Is All Kinds of Wrong" was trending on Twitter Thursday morning, with many people describing the ad as simply "weird." Some were just curious about the skyrocketing popularity of chairs.

From doorbells to the Great Unknown, the commercial gets pretty epic toward the end, featuring this shout-out to the universe.

"It is vast and dark and makes us wonder if we are alone; so maybe the reason we make all of these things is to remind ourselves that we are not.”

But Facebook's attempt to imbue chairs with "real human emotion" is the most memorable part of the video. Harkening back to Clint Eastwood's ridiculous "invisible Obama" chair gimic, there's already a Twitter handle @Facebookschair.

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