Facebook announced today that it has reached a staggering one billion users, and to celebrate, has launched a dreamy feel-good film from its newly-named agency of record, Wieden & Kennedy of Oregon.
The title of the film is Things that Connect, " Chairs, doorbells, bridges, airplanes," says the social network "These are things that people use to get together and connect. Facebook is also something that over a billion people around the world use to connect with one another."
The film opens with a series of shots of people sitting and interacting on chairs -- before moving on to other objects and events through which people come together.
"What we're trying to articulate is that we as humans exist to connect, and we at Facebook are there to facilitate and enable that process," says Rebecca Van Dyck, who joined Facebook as head of consumer marketing in February.
Van Dyck, who was previously with Apple and Levi, adds, "We make the tools and services that allow people to feel human, get together, open up. Even if it's a small gesture, or a grand notion -- we wanted to express that huge range of connectivity and how we interact with each other."
Although the film and the billion milestone arrived on the same day, they were not originally intended to coincide,
"This started long before we knew we were going to reach a billion," Ms. Van Dyck told AdAge magazine . "We started thinking about this a year ago and approached Wieden & Kennedy to help us craft a message that articulated our values and who we are. It wasn't until recently that we realized we were close to reaching 1 billion, and we thought what an amazing way to honor our users, to create this piece for them."
Mark Zuckerberg launched the film , to be seen in 13 countries this morning. Facebook will be using its various ad products, including premium page posts and sponsored stories, for the rollout
Wieden Creative Director Karl Lieberman said the agency spent months getting to know Facebook. "We tried to figure out what it is that the company's really interested in," he said. "There's a quote by David Kennedy that I really love: 'Great brands don't talk about themselves, they talk about what they really love.' If you follow that blueprint, you'll realize that Facebook loves things that are social. It finds it interesting and essential that there's this innate, human desire to connect."
The film was directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of Anonymous Content, who previously directed for W&K Nike's "Write the Future" and the Emmy-awarded "Best Job" Olympics spot for P&G.
Lieberman added , "Facebook wanted to speak in a significant, but humble way. We thought that starting off with chairs really did that. We don't think about chairs a lot, but you can if you want. You can spend $5 on a chair, or $5,000. They could be incredibly ordinary, or incredibly sophisticated. We thought it was a humble but interesting way for Facebook to start talking about itself."