Facebook hit 1 billion users, and all it got was this lousy ad

World's largest social network celebrates major milestone -- one overshadowed by its own confusing commercial

Facebook passed a monumental milestone yesterday: its 1 billionth member. Eventually, as Carl Sagan might have said, they'll have "billions and billions" more.

To celebrate, Facebook produced its first-ever video commercial, titled "The Things That Connect Us."

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I have to say it's one of the weirdest and most disturbing spots I've ever seen:

The video starts with the image of an empty chair in a forest suspended in midair. That may have been a sly reference to a certain piece of furniture that played a starring role in the Republican National Convention in August. Unfortunately, the first thing it reminded me of was the ugly images of chairs being hung in effigy shortly after Clint Eastwood had his little conversation with the invisible president. Rather a bad move for a social network that wants to be thought of as bringing people together, don'tcha think?

But it gets weirder. For example, the female voiceover solemnly intones:

Chairs. They're made so people can sit down and take a break. Anyone can sit on a chair, and if the chair is a large enough they can sit down together and tell jokes or make up stories or just listen. Chairs are for people, and that's why chairs are like Facebook.

Right. So if people can sit on chairs, and chairs are like Facebook, then what does that say about toilets?

The video then goes on to compare Facebook to doorbells, airplanes, bridges, dance floors, and basketball. Because those are the first things I think of when I think of Facebook. Facebook is also the first thing I think of when I ring a doorbell, fly a plane, jump off a bridge, dance the Lambada, or blow out my knee playing hoops.

Then, finally:

The universe. It is vast, and dark, and makes us wonder if we are alone. So maybe we make all of these things is to remind ourselves that we are not.

Thus bringing us back to Carl Sagan. See how that works? That's what I call cosmic.

Amazingly, this ad was created by Wieden+Kennedy, the hoity+toity firm responsible for the original Nike ads way back when, as well as those amazingly great Old Spice commercials in 2010. So you have to wonder if perhaps drugs were involved. Or, worse, maybe Facebook got too involved.

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