Just as Facebook announced its 1 billionth monthly active user, the social network released its first major commercial, in which the company tries to show how human the Internet activity that involves no face-to-face interaction really is. After watching the spot, which somehow connects the vastness of the universe to sharing links and photos, you get the sense that the social network wanted to go deep. Facebook isn't just a website, it's part of some greater human desire, the ad claims. Not too surprisingly, it turns out the entire creative process, from the initial idea, to the director, to the final spot revolved around what Karl Lieberman, the creative director at Weiden, the ad agency with which Facebook worked, called "real human emotion," in an interview Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz.
The concept behind the ad, according to Facebook's head of consumer marketing Rebecca Van Dyck, is to link Facebook with some innate human desire to connect. "We make the tools and services that allow people to feel human, get together, open up. Even if it's a small gesture, or a grand notion -- we wanted to express that huge range of connectivity and how we interact with each other," Van Dyck told Diaz. First way to do that: Write some heady copy, apparently. "The Things That Connect Us" spot begins describing how chairs are one of those things which glue us together and that "that's why chairs are like Facebook." (Because Facebook is one of those things, too. Get it?) It gets even more existential later, ending with the following lines. "The universe, it is fast 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."