In the past few years Facebook has grown from a phenomenon among college kids to a ubiquitous part of American online life. In the process, founder Mark Zuckerburg has become one of the most powerful–and wealthiest–businessmen in American and particularly in the tech sector. Now, following a disappointingly received IPO and difficulty in building and diversifying their online revenue Facebook is taking a cue from ‘legacy’ businesses by launching a massive advertising campaign with the goal of increasing ‘brand awareness’.
The ad campaign will initially target 13 countries in 12 different languages including Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The campaign will initially be hosted on Facebook itself but industry insiders suspect that it won’t be long before it appears in more traditional mediums like print and television.
Facebook recently went over 1 billion users and the campaign is going to celebrate this fact and their role in bringing people together. In a press release, Mark Zuckerburg outlined the theme:
We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It’s what brings us together. It’s what brings meaning to our lives.
The campaign will be created by Portland, OR based ad agency powerhouse Weiden and Kennedy who has created countless memorable ad campaigns for companies like ESPN and Nike. Ad industry observers are theorizing that Facebook is looking to increase their market penetration in countries where they already have a significant share. The hope is to reach less ‘tech savvy’ users and late adopters. Of course given the fact that the initial rollout is on Facebook they won’t be reaching those until they move the campaign into other channels like TV and print.
Recent market data suggests that Facebook adoption has hit something of a ‘ceiling’ and that current users are using the service less than in previous years. Both trends bode poorly for Facebook’s revenue growth and as a result its stock price. It would appear that the plan is to launch on Facebook in hopes of building engagement among current users before expanding the campaign to a wider audience.
Here’s the first Facebook advertising campaign video: