In case you missed it, concurrent with the announcement yesterday that it now has more than a gazillion users, Facebook flaunted their brand new spot from W+K (Or the “Nike” agency as the media invariably calls it, ‘cos the other 500 accounts on their roster mean fuck all to journalists.) The 90-second spot, titled "The Things That Connect Us" is currently living on Facebook, and is supposedly an emotional tribute that existentially discusses the things that connect people. Like chairs. Yes, fucking chairs!"Chairs are like Facebook," the ad states. It also says, "The universe it is vast and dark and makes us wonder if we are alone." It’s a nice moody spot that obviously cost a gazillion dollars to produce… Unfortunately, I have no fucking idea what it’s about. Then I watched it again and was struck by the opening sequence… There’s a red chair hanging from a tree in a dense forest. Then more chairs, including a red bench in China. Then a pinky-red dolls chair. Then lots more red chairs with one alone on a stage in an empty auditorium. Then near the end, another fucking red chair. Throughout, we are told that…Chairs are like Facebook!!! Now, as you well know, I have always been a W+K fan, particularly the London office… But, one of the advantages of being an “Old Ad Git” like me is that I’ve seen it all before. Like this…
In 1998 Oracle ran a two minute spot on the Super Bowl… It cost a fucking fortune and was shot in Cambodia. It visualized every Vietnam war nightmare you could imagine, with gun battles, screaming children, motorcycle chases and guys in black Ninja outfits blowing shit up. It ended with “The Red Chair of Knowledge!” Floating in mid-air. It was a fiasco, and no one, other than the world’s richest Ninja-Freak, Larry Ellison, had any fucking idea what it was supposed to be about.
However… Here’s how it was described on Oracle’s Web site… In this idealist infolightenment narrative, the passage from domination to a world in which the categories of master and slave are abolished in favor of the Hegelian dream of mutual recognition is an accomplishment “managed” and “enabled” by an enlightened global capitol… Oracle.
Fuck me… Top that Zuckernozzle… Remember, while Larry’s billions keep growing, yours keep shrinking. Would you like to sit down for minute on a red “You-Know-What?”
Kate reclines on my "Red Chair!"