Facebook Doesn’t Want You To Be Lonely In The Vast, Dark Universe

This is a cardinal rule: DO NOT DEVELOP AN AGENCY STYLE. This is a cardinal rule because look and feel, a.k.a. style, belongs to the brand, not to the agency.

Somewhere along the way, Wieden + Kennedy, one of the world’s few great big agencies, forgot about the cardinal rule. How do I know this? It’s evident in their work.

Take, for instance, this new spot for new client Facebook.

This spot has been done to death. By Wieden. Except this time, the spot is even worse than just a sorry copy of another spot from an old campaign. This time the copy goes too far, making the client and the agency seem full of themselves and full of shit.

“Chairs are like Facebook.”

Excuse me?

“The universe. It is vast. And dark. And makes us wonder if we are alone.”

Wow, that’s cosmic.

Here’s what Eric Hoffman, an Ad Age reader, has to say about the spot:

Looks like some of that crap you see from Microsoft or Google…stuffy over produced C R A P.

Clearly, the old school CDs at W+K are fond of formulas. And to their credit they milk these formulas for all they are worth. Regardless, Levi’s, Nike, Dodge and now Facebook are all telling the same story, in the same style, over and over again.

Once upon a time, I would have concluded that W+K was better than this. Today, I can see that they’re human. They’ve had a hell of a run, but now they’re tired. Which is understandable. No one stays on top forever.

UPDATE: It didn’t take long for Mashable to come up with a spoof (which brings attention to the spot, but not the kind of attention FB or W+K wants).

George Parker also weighs in: “Because I have spies everywhere, I can tell you on good authority that the Wieden+Kennedy ‘Facebook is a fucking Chair’ campaign is actually a cover up for the upcoming, and still very secret, re-launch of Naugahyde.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.