Facebook Portal gets people to share something 'real'

Oscar-nominated 'Sound of Metal' helmer Darius Marder directs campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day N.Y. exploring intimacy in communication

Published On
Jun 07, 2021

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Facebook tapped Darius Marder, director of “Sound of Metal,” for its next Portal video-calling push, which offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of family and friends as they laugh, cry and share personal stories.

One of the four new commercials, titled “Coming Out,” is timed to Pride Month in June. It depicts a father confiding in his grown-up son about being gay.

See all of Ad Age's A-List and Creativity 2021 winners here.

Along with three others, titled “Laugh Cry,” Sisters” and “Conceiving," the films are short vignettes of personal moments. They explore themes of inclusivity and acceptance.

The “Sisters” ad, for example, shows two sisters communicating in American Sign Language, sharing a touching moment before one of them goes on a date. 

The new ad campaign, directed by Marder, was developed by Facebook Reality Labs and TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. It is called “Share Something Real.”


“This concept relied on our ability to create and nurture environments for life to happen and for genuine connection to occur,” Marder said in a statement announcing the campaign. “That’s where we find authenticity.”

“The choice to have Oscar-nominated Darius Marder direct these commercials was extremely deliberate,” said Chris Beresford-Hill, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day\New York, in the announcement. “Darius has an incredible ability to pull fantastic performances out of anyone. That’s what this content is all about: real exchanges between people, all through this one device.”

Portal has become a rare hardware hit for Facebook and is similar to Amazon Echo screens and Google Assistant smart displays. Facebook seized on the 2020 pandemic lockdowns as a moment to promote more connectivity through the Portal device that features video-calling, apps and games, all connected through the social network. Previous campaigns promoted the device with humor, with the help of celebrities including Rebel Wilson and Leslie Jones.