Facebook has released a new commercial with an unusual star — CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The company's "Launch Day" ad, published to the web yesterday, sees Zuckerberg deliver an address to his employees prior to the release of Facebook Home, Facebook's new Android-integrated mobile operating system.
"Guys! This is it," Zuckerberg exclaims upon entering the scene at Facebook's headquarters, before telling his team that Facebook Home is ready to ship. The focus then shifts to Joey, an employee playing around on his HTC First handset while his boss speaks. As Zuckerberg's voice fades into the background, Joey flips through status updates and photos, and texts his friends through Home's Chat Heads feature. Each post sends Joey's mind on a mini-reverie, and his thoughts are played out in live action in the office. A goat bleats at Zuckerberg's face, a vacationing friend does a cannonball, and go-karts whiz around.
"a fun peek behind the Menlo Park curtain"
The scene comes full circle about one minute later, as Joey returns to reality, and the focus returns to Zuckerberg. The spot closes with a shot of a damp and sheepish Joey, before cutting to an AT&T logo — Facebook Home's exclusive carrier.
According to Facebook, the clip was shot on-site at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and it stars the company's actual product team. The company describes the ad as "a fun peek behind the Menlo Park curtain," though it's Zuckerberg's presence that's most notable.
Early in his tenure, Zuckerberg was known to deliver sometimes painfully awkward public appearances. His stiff demeanor and apparent stage anxiety earned him a reputation as a robotic boy genius, and came in stark contrast to more dynamic personalities such as Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
But recent years have seen a marked shift in Zuckerberg's stage presence. He appears to be more comfortable in the limelight, and has taken steps to enhance his visibility. Now, he seems willing to use that fame as a more direct marketing tool, as well.