Metaphor

The chair Facebook used as an appaling metaphor in their first brand campaignThis is something I wrote a little while ago, but thought it worthwhile to share. Ultimately, shiney social media can get it wrong too.

Facebook. A place to meet people, become reacquainted with old friends, share photographs, stories and news.

A chair. A place for one person to sit.

Now I’m all for clever metaphors that require one to consider how deep the real meaning stretches, but the lack of synergy in Facebook’s first (and hopefully last) brand campaign is overwhelming. If they had used a cafe, or a bar as their metaphor they perhaps would have been described as predictable (probably not far from the truth when you consider the post-floatation flop) but to use an item, that can only be used by a single person at any one time, which doesn’t invoke conversation, which doesn’t encourage social interaction other than somewhere to park your rear is quite a poor show.

There are probably hundreds of metaphors that wouldn’t have been cliched; a pen, a post it, a train station, I could go on… But a chair? I’m willing to bet the ad agency was sat around, smoking dope consulting the first visual references in their line of sight for inspiration – and came up with the very thing they are sat on. And for the privilege of working with such an iconic brand? I’m guessing a few million dollars…

Now Boris Johnson on the Tory cleanup… So David Cameron unsympathetically referred to Boris as a mop – obviously referring to his DIY hair style, but ever the faithful Mayor, Boris didn’t take offence, he merely span it into the most coherent speech of the entire Tory Party Conference. Sack Andy Coulson I say, get Boris on the job, in fact, just put Boris in charge of the damn country. He might not be the serious straight-laced leader we’re used to, but by god he’s charismatic. And passionate for that matter.

He can take an off-the-cuff insult and with it form a rousing speech which paints the Tories in quite a rosy light. And would the leader of Blighty be so astute as to include reference to Gangnam style – not a chance, but when it comes to Bo-Jo, you bet.

After watching his speech in the aftermath of the riots, where he brandished a broom at the crowd and encouraged the people of London to come together and clean up the mess I couldn’t help but feel warmed to the very heart by this genuine, and brilliant orator. That day, he could have been Sir Winston Churchill, giving the “We shall fight on the beaches” speech, and by god I’d have been grabbing my bayonet.

Facebook, the biggest website on the planet, try harder or smarter, or at least try. Boris, I will follow you into war, Sir!

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