Swimming Pools, Cakes and Mockery Are Like Facebook

Ad theme returns, even as it continues to be ridiculed

"Swimming pools are filled with people. Some you know. Some you don't. And every once in a while you see something that maybe you shouldn't. That’s why swimming pools are a little like Facebook." —Facebook

First, famously, chairs were like Facebook. Now, some other things are like Facebook, according to Facebook's own feed. Swimming pools, Halloween and cakes are like Facebook, according to three photos the company posted to its wall last week. (The pool image has more than half a million likes, and the cakes one close to it.) Yes, it seems Wieden + Kennedy has brought back the "Are like Facebook" theme, even though response to the initial ad was mainly negative, with most observers finding it pretentious and/or silly. A snarky Tumbler even sprang up in its wake informing us that "Disney Stormtroopers," "Cardboard bicycles" and "Prison riots" are like Facebook. The parodies are more amusing—and in the case of the Stormtroopers, rather more truthful—than the real thing. If Facebook were a cool challenger brand, having its ads lampooned might not be so bad, because newbies need the exposure and could roll with the punches. Alas, Facebook, an often-controversial company, needs its ads to smooth things over rather than become a source of fresh scorn. To its credit, Facebook has half-embraced the Tumblr, posting a few of the milder images from it on its Facebook page. Still, W+K better cue up Plan B, because it's easier to laugh at, rather than with, the current campaign. If that persists, the client won't be long for the agency's timeline.

"Birthday cakes are made for people to be together. They give friends a place to gather and celebrate. But too much cake probably isn’t healthy. So birthday cake is a lot like Facebook." —Facebook

"Halloween gives people a chance to be scary or funny or sexy or, sometimes, a little bit of all three. Halloween lets people express themselves. That is why Halloween is like Facebook." —Facebook