The choice of the Simple Minds song can’t help but seem like a plea from Meta, which is going through one of the toughest periods in its history. Last year, Facebook changed its name to Meta, a rebrand to focus on the metaverse, a concept that Zuckerberg hopes is the future of the platform. Facebook’s current social media services have been criticized for contributing to societal ills, and the company is beset on all sides.
There are regulators who are investigating Facebook as an alleged monopoly in social media. Platform rival Apple has made policy changes that strike at the heart of Facebook’s digital advertising practices. Apple has implemented data-sharing restrictions on iPhones, targeted to dismantle how Facebook and others collect information on consumers to tailor ads.
Meanwhile, Chinese-owned TikTok is changing how younger consumers interact on social media. The competition is getting to Facebook, and last quarter the number of global daily active users slipped ever so slightly. Facebook went from 1.93 billion daily users to 1.929 billion. Some industry watchers have started to write the obituary on social media, and perhaps that’s where the new Super Bowl commercial comes in.
Spot the 'meta' references
Questy’s and The Cometeers are shown in fast-forward mode, transforming over the years from a raucous hangout to a bankrupt brand, where all the parts are sold off. The animatronic band is split up as the characters get removed. The Questy’s neon sign goes dark outside, replaced by a “closing forever” banner.
The spot then follows the lead animatronic character, an oversized shaggy hound named Harry, which is moved from pawnshop to karaoke bar to being discarded on the side of the road. Then a second life comes as it gets reclaimed, and put on display in the “Bosworth Space Center,” a nod to Andrew Bosworth, head of Reality Labs at Meta.
The space exhibit in the commercial offers a tour of space through Quest VR goggles. When the exhibit closes at night, the Questy’s front dog is left with the goggles, and opens its eyes to enter the metaverse.
Meta’s marketing team said one of the goals of the ad was to show what’s available now in VR, versus what’s still years or even decades away as the internet moves from 2D phone screens to 3D interactivity. Still, the commercial has a disclaimer: “Screen images simulated and not representative of our current product. User experience will vary.”
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