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Facebook’s New Ads Make Us Grateful It Exists

Facebook explores the nature of friendship, with remixes of music classics.

Facebook’s New Ads Make Us Grateful It Exists

Facebook has embarked on an advertising push in the U.K. with a set of three spots, each focusing on some of the universal truths of friendship.

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The TV campaign, which is Facebook’s first in the UK, is being supported with outdoor advertising. Each of the three films looks at different moments over the course of friendships.

The simple and, at times, touching English-accented voiceover on each film is backed by pared-down, instrumental versions of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” (on “Girl Friends”), Rihanna’s “Umbrella (on “Our Friends”) and The Cure’s “Close To Me (on “Friend Request”). The ads celebrate friendship and may lead viewers to gratefully reflect on Facebook’s part in helping maintain them.

The films were made by Facebook’s in-house creative unit, The Factory and directed by Mike Mills.

Meanwhile, in Australia and Canada, Facebook has launched a series of films for internet.org, its drive to connect “the next billion.” The initiative, which aims to provide free access to basic services in markets where internet access is unaffordable for many, is led by Facebook in partnership with companies including Samsung, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

Also made by The Factory, the four films are directed by Alma Har’el. Each tells the story of people who are not connected to the internet and highlights why it would be better if they were. One shows two windmill builders, another a pair of 11-year olds who have built a robot arm, a third introduces Lian who runs a vinyl store in Jakarta and the fourth tells the story of Neesha, a child growing up in a family of magicians. “Get her online and let her teach us,” the voiceover says. Each ad ends with the strapline “The more we connect, the better it gets.”

The films will run as TV spots, as Facebook ads and, like the British campaign, will be supported with outdoor advertising. The internet.org webpage hosts more detail on each of the stories.

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About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.

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