As Facebook seeks to regain public trust in the wake of various privacy scandals and related issues, The Social Network will run its first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2020, which will focus specifically on the connective benefits of Facebook Groups.
The ad will be part of Facebook's 'More Together' campaign, which was first launched back in May.
As you can see in this example, groups is the specific focus of the 'More Together' ad push, with Facebook giving its on-platform communities a more concerted drive since 2017. Back then, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook also changed its mission statement from "Making the world more open and connected" to "Bring the world closer together" - with so many issues stemming from that open connectivity, Facebook aimed to re-align itself around community, while usage patterns have also shown that more conversations are gradually shifting into private messaging and closed groups.
That makes sense. As social media has evolved, we've seen more and more scandals caused by people's public posts. Hollywood film directors have been fired based on their past posting history, political candidates have had their campaigns thwarted by the same. With people becoming more wary of public sharing, logically, there's been a shift into more private areas, enabling users to glean the benefits of social media connection, while lessening the potential risk of the internet's permanent memory.
The push towards more private conversation also, invariably, has benefits for Facebook itself. With more conversations being hidden from public view, Facebook comes under less scrutiny for facilitating controversial discussion and content. If the general public can't see it, Facebook can't be held accountable for such, while the subsequent engagement around such material still remains, a double win for the network. It's a more skeptical view of its groups push, but undeniably, there are benefits for Zuck and Co. within that shift.
But what Facebook really wants to show is that it's good, that Facebook, in general, provides societal benefit, and connects people in ways which were not possible in times past. The gist of the 'More Together' campaign thus far has felt like a reminder, prompting users to remember all the good things that they've gotten out of their Facebook experiences.
Sure, the company might also have sold your personal data to questionable operators, but look at all these great benefits too. Facebook's actually pretty good, on balance. Right?
How much benefit The Social Network will glean from a Super Bowl ad is difficult to say, Facebook is already fairly universal, there won't be many Super Bowl viewers who aren't aware of the app. But given the price of Super Bowl ads, Facebook must see some potential benefit.
Will it help improve perception of the app, and help Facebook with a new PR push? We'll have to wait and see.