As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce). The key to its success, though, will be advertising. While Facebook, as a website, can effectively tell its members about Home in a way that paid media could only aspire to, the company has already prepared two video spots on the subject.
The first spot we'll look at is the "Airplane" video we saw during Facebook's announcement. Focusing on just how immersive Home wants to be in bringing users closer to their feed and friends, the ad uses a very Nexus 7-ish soft focus aesthetic to demonstrate that, even against FAA regulations, you can stay in touch with whatever your friends are doing, be they vacationing on the beach or posting about a child's birthday party.
The second minute-long spot stacks another cloudy filter on the camera, opting to go for the "you are connected to your phone" approach. The video emphasizes just how often we obsessively glance at our phones, and follows up by letting viewers know that you can get information about your friends' doings every time you turn on the screen. Oh, and that their faces will fly onto your screen when they send you a message.
The ads are actually decent. Are they revolutionary? No. But they aren't bad. That said, there's something interesting happening in the videos – the HTC first is focused on in both, but the voice over never mentions the device. Not once. The final screen in "Airplane" is all about the phone, naming it in light gray text on a white field under the AT&T logo, but the second video doesn't. It would appear that Facebook is focusing on Home, with the First serving as a tangential product. This isn't necessarily a surprise, but the First will probably need more direct attention if either Facebook or HTC are at all interested in pushing units.