afaqs! news bureau

Facebook's new ad tries to reassure people that they aren't alone

Aimed at promoting its Community Help function, the ad, created by Droga5 talks about how, despite the crisis, there is still happiness in the world.

Facebook has joined the list of brands that have released ads or social media communication aimed at reassuring people of goodness and togetherness during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The virus that doesn’t have a vaccine yet has devastated the world. According to Worldometers, the total number of cases as of April 06, 2020 stands over a million and the death toll has crossed 69,000.

The ad, created by advertising giant Droga5 together with Facebook’s marketing time, is a reflection of the times we live in-deserted streets, vacant city squares, empty supermarket shelves, a public official fumigating a children’s playground, stadium covered into a quarantine facility, a downcast health worker- it’s all downward now.

But, then we see that there are always two sides to a coin. We see friends laughing together on a video call, people hugging each other through social distancing, hospital staff dancing and letting go off the stresses, musicians serenading people from afar J and keeping their hopes alive.

There’s a message at the end, “We’re never lost if we can find each other”

The ad contains images and videos that’s user-generated and the voiceover is of British poet Kate Tempest reading her 2019 poem “People’s Faces”. The poem whose words are as haunting as they are poignant:

Was that a pivotal historical moment

We just went stumbling past?

Here we are

Dancing in the rumbling dark

So come a little closer

Give me something to grasp

Give me your beautiful, crumbling heart

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO posted the ad on his Facebook profile and said, “We made a short film "Never Lost" to honor the solidarity and resilience of so many people coming together during this time. Thank you to everyone doing your part.”

According to B&T, “Alongside Facebook, we’re humbled to honor the solidarity and resilience of so many people coming together during this time,” Droga5 said in a statement.

The ad was to promote Facebook’s Community Help function where people can ask for or volunteer help to their neighbours - something that will come in handy during the crisis.

Recently, Jack Daniel’s, the Tennessee whiskey brand released an ad celebrating social distancing - the preventive measure aimed at halting the virus’ spread. Titled ‘With Love, Jack’, the ad says that social distancing has helped us become more social.

Visit Portugal, the country’s tourism board too released ad called ‘Can’t skip hope’. It talks of taking a break and refocusing on who we are during the crisis.

Facebook in the past has been under public and official scrutiny for several reasons ranging from data breaches to fake news.

Its Holi ad campaign for 2020, 'More Together', reflected a change in communication and was focused more on its users.

When asked if the campaign was to recapture the narrative around itself, a Facebook spokesperson told us that the company wants to be more assertive in telling its own story. It has allowed others to do this for it in the past, and it's time that it stood up and spoke directly to the people using its apps. Some things are working well and the world needs to know about it, and this is why Facebook is excited to showcase how people from different backgrounds can harness the potential of connections.

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