Media

Facebook Won't Run Ads for "The Social Network," but Facebook Users Like It Anyway

Published on August 31, 2010
by Peter Kafka

Facebook loves Hollywood ad dollars, except in the case of one particular film. That would be “The Social Network,” the upcoming film best known as “The Facebook Movie.”

As Kara Swisher pointed out in July, Facebook isn’t accepting ads from Sony (SNE), the movie’s distributor. The reason, in so many words: Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg don’t like the movie.

Fair enough: Sony has figured out plenty of ways to get buzz for the movie online, via both paid routes (“Promoted Twitter” ads) and unpaid gambits (viral videos, of course).

And now, in a lovely bit of irony, the “The Social Network” is being advertised on Facebook, after all. For free. By Facebook’s users.

As Forbes’s Dorothy Pomerantz explains, Sony is asking Facebook users to “like” the movie, and they’re complying: So far, some 29,000 Facebookers have endorsed the movie via a button click, which translates into some 29,000 individual “thumbs up” ads appearing in Facebook users’ streams.

Pretty clever, no?

I’m giving the movie a previewing thumbs-up, too, for what it’s worth–I’m really excited to see it. And not because I think it’s going define Generation Y or anything like that (beware of explicitly “generation-defining” movies, by the way–you’ll end up with “Reality Bites”). It’s because I think it’s going to be awesome: Aaron Sorkin is great with the words, and David Fincher makes great images.

And if that doesn’t sell you, maybe another view of the trailer, scored by a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” will help.

(Happy Birthday, Ben!)

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