Facebook’s first foray into the Big Game promotes a feature that the company has yet to monetize: groups.
“More Together” aims to celebrate the connections and stories of people using the social network’s groups feature, which has been a focus of the company and of CEO Mark Zuckerberg in particular, despite the fact that, aside from early tests, there are no ads within the groups experience on Facebook.
As for Stallone’s and Rock’s integration into Facebook’s spot, the common thread is rock—as in 14 groups related to rocks that will be featured during the Super Bowl spot, including Stallone’s iconic Rocky role.
Antonio Lucio, CMO, Facebook, laid out theme of the spot as “Whatever you rock, there is a group for you.” Featured groups cover topics including rock music, rocking chairs, rocket ships, rock climbing, San Francisco’s Swim Around the Rock (Alcatraz) challenge and even Stonehenge.
“You’re going to see some outrageous names for groups,” he added, “They’re all real.”
In addition to the Big Game spot, the campaign will incorporate digital takeovers all day on Super Bowl Sunday, including on the YouTube masthead, NFL.com, Hulu and Allrecipes.
The social component, both on- and off-Facebook, will present teasers and other video content on Monday through Saturday the week leading up to the game, followed by groups-focused videos after the game and a digital out-of-home takeover in New York the next day.
At Facebook’s F8 2019 developers conference in April, the social network unveiled a redesign of Facebook’s flagship applications and desktop site that moved groups into prime real estate with the aim of “making communities as central as friends.” Zuckerberg said during his keynote: “The future is private. This is the next chapter for our services.”
At the time, Facebook mentioned tens of millions of active groups, with 400 million people who said they considered groups to be meaningful. Last week, the company said 1.4 billion people use groups each month.
Lucio said the goal of the campaign is to build trust in the Facebook corporate brand and celebrate the value of its products, services and apps—and the important roles they play in people’s lives.
“The campaign is aimed at celebrating the feeling people get from getting together with people who share their interest via Facebook groups,” he added. “The focus in 2020 is to ensure that the Facebook brand is more present in moments of culture.”
One cultural moment debuted during Sunday night’s 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, when a More Together TV spot debuted featuring hip-hop artist Big Freedia and her connection with the International Kazoo Players Association Facebook group. Another ad in the campaign will debut during the 92nd Academy Awards Feb. 9.
“Cultural moments are experienced through our platform every day,” Lucio said. “We felt this year that we wanted to be part of that conversation in a more direct way.”
The Military Mama Network Facebook group, for the nonprofit group of the same name that supports military families in need, was featured in the More Together campaign during the holiday season, and Facebook opened holiday pop-ups in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for Giving Tuesday last Dec. 3 to help raise money for the organization.
Facebook is no stranger to incorporating big-name talent into its campaigns.
Efforts backing its Portal video-calling devices have featured: Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, The Muppets, the mothers of Neil Patrick Harris, Venus and Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jonah Hill and Odell Beckham Jr. There was also product placement in ABC comedy Black-ish.
“Hopefully, the message that we were able to deliver is that there is a group for everyone, and you can find it in Facebook groups,” Lucio said. “There’s nothing intellectual about it. It’s a simple and joyful message.”