Consumer Insights · Media Strategy · Brand Planning | Los Angeles, CA

Facebook Home Adds a Little Tuba to Your Life

Wieden + Kennedy is a first-rate creative shop, so I was surprised at the relative dud they put up for Facebook’s first TV spot, last year. It was a pretty, and in some ways, compelling work about the things that connect us, but it fell short of being an effective piece of branding for Big Blue. It was just too vague. 

Time for another try, with Home, a new addition to Facebook’s offering that strikes me as a bit of a difficult sell in the first place. The ad is airing on the Final Four game this evening, and it’s available on Facebook as well.

Following a plane traveler as he scrolls through his friends’ photos, which are now available on his home screen, as opposed to the news feed of his Facebook app, the ad brings the static pictures to life. Tying the whole thing together is some inexplicable circus-like tuba music. I suppose they’re trying to say that bringing your friends to the forefront of your smartphone experience brings an element of entertainment to otherwise dull experiences like waiting for takeoff. Speaking as someone who’s browsed Facebook on the tarmac many times, I find that part of it easy enough to buy. But this could’ve just as easily been an ad for Facebook mobile years ago. I question whether the average viewer will even understand they’re looking at an ad for a product that’s distinct from the Facebook app they already use. Based on the online posting, I may not be far off.

One need only take a look at the comments on the video to see that sentiment is perplexed at best, negative at worst. I maintain that the product is a huge part of the problem here, but the last 48 hours or so have been repeated chances for Facebook to tell its story about Home. Once again, they come up puzzling when they should be inspiring. Facebook Home is indeed a paradigm shift in the way its users will interact with their smartphones, but I have trouble seeing how that’s a benefit to all but the most FB-centric users, and this commercial does nothing to change that. It’s a total waste of a good tuba.

So with that out of the way, I suggest you take a look at Lonely Island performing “I’m On a Boat” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, backed by the Roots, including Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” Bryson. Toot toot.

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