In ironic but sadly unsurprising news Boom Town have confirmation from Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group that Facebook will not be used to promote David Fincher’s new film The Social Network that depicts the early days of, you guessed it, Facebook.
SVP of Media Relations Steve Elzer cited Facebook’s advertising guidelines which forbid the use of advertisements that reference Facebook unless Facebook have themselves granted permission. Given Zuckerberg’s personal disapproval of the film – he argues the book it is based on, Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires, contains inaccuracies – this is obviously highly unlikely to be forthcoming.
Perhaps more surprising is the fact that there currently appears to be no official presence for the film on Facebook at all, although the official site for the film does feature a button to share the link to Facebook and one unofficial . Whilst there are rules against trying to represent brands or individuals without authorisation there do not appear to be rules suggesting Facebook authorisation is required for fan pages in general. Indeed, in the past there have been debate over whether Facebook should delete pages that contain questionable views and the general consensus has been that to do so would restrict freedom of speech.
Elsewhere the promotion for the film is remarkably creative. The movie poster (pictured here) is a fantastic departure from the norm, using typefaces creatively and riffing on the browser bar, creating a recognisable strip down the side. So far two teaser trailers have been released (both are available on the official site) and they are a long way from the bombastic teasers we have come to expect, playing on text and the Facebook interface.
For a film about social media to lack a clear social media strategy appears to be a massive missed opportunity – there isn’t even a Twitter account – but with the film’s release not until November perhaps we will see this rectified. Who knows – maybe it is all part of the tease!