Airing in front of a national audience on CBS today during the Final Four games, Facebook and AT&T have debuted a new commercial promoting the upcoming launch of Facebook Home for Android. (Scroll down to watch the ad.) The advertisement features a male airline passenger, a young businessman sporting hipster glasses, absentmindedly boarding a plane while flipping through his friend’s Facebook photos using the Home interface on his Android smartphone. As he checks out each picture, a visual representation of his imagination kicks into overdrive and the photos come to life around him within the airplane.
For instance, a photo of his friends at the beach makes them appear lying down in the overhead bins while still sporting their swimwear. Other instances include drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley popping out of the flight attendant’s service cart, the passenger’s nephew standing next to his airline seat with a face covered in chocolate birthday cake and an impromptu dance party in the middle of the aisle.
When the flight attendant appears to politely request that the airline passenger put away his smartphone in order to prepare the plane’s cabin for launch, he just can’t resist powering the phone back on after the flight attendant leaves in order to keep checking out pictures on Facebook Home. Clearly, the only way to satisfy his Facebook addiction is to double tap the Home interface to Like a photo of cats. Popping back into his imagination, a couple adult cats to start leaping from seat to seat over the heads of passengers. It’s only at this point can our protagonist safely rest his head and attempt to fall asleep prior to the flight attendant’s spiel about seat belts and oxygen masks. You can watch the advertisement below:
After posting the ad on the Facebook Mobile account earlier this morning as a sneak peek, Facebook users have posted a barrage of comical and negative comments mocking the commercial. One of the top Facebook comments jokingly stated “I don’t even understand what they are trying to show us. It makes no sense to me. If I get a Facebook phone is my life going to be like a circus with that annoying tuba sound following me around?” Another humorous comment read “I’m 60 years old. If I opened a luggage compartment and found someone lying in there, I’d probably have a heart attack.” There are also Facebook users posting security concerns related to Facebook Home.
One potential issue with the advertisement is that may not connect with Facebook users on a personal or emotional level. After watching the commercial, AdWeek’s Tim Nudd said “It’s sometimes hard to know why Facebook, whose image problems usually stem from it seeming too big and too invasive, doesn’t try to capture small, human moments rather than cosmic or circus-like ones.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has launched a video advertisement that drew a bit of ridicule from viewers. After launching the “Chairs are like Facebook” advertisements during October 2012, a rash of parodies spawned on the Internet resulting in a Tumblr account featuring ridiculous images comparing Facebook to things like miniature horses, cardboard bicycles and smile-activated refrigerators.