Gossip columnist Jeremy Helligar posted on his blog that singer Justin Timberlake’s Facebook status read, “Will the Facebook movie make me more than just the next King of Pop?” Helligar used the opportunity to discuss Timberlake’s acting career. [I will ignore the “King of Pop” reference and apparently Timberlake decided to do the same; the update has since been deleted from his fan page. ] I saw it as Timberlake’s opportunity to market the movie he stars in as Sean Parker, former Facebook Inc. president. Unless there is some change in Facebook’s advertising policies, The Social Network will not be buying any ads on the social network known as Facebook.
Kara Swisher of All Things Digital reports,
“Facebook’s advertising guidelines don’t allow ads to reference the company unless Facebook has cooperated with the object of the ad,” said Steve Elzer, SVP of Media Relations for Sony (SNE) movie unit Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, in response to a BoomTown query. “So, we won’t be advertising there given these parameters.”
The “parameters” prohibit advertising but they certainly aren’t prohibiting indirect marketing of the film by fans of the film and its stars. An “official” Facebook page for the movie is incomplete at this time but there are 16 other pages on the network that feature some aspect of the film from the first poster to the trailers.
Based on Ben Mezrich‘s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, The Social Network has been called “fiction” by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Recently, Facebook announced the release of an application, 500 Million Stories, to collect “friend” stories about their experiences on the network. They will most likely use those stories to counteract any potential damage caused by the film’s content and buzz though they’d hardly need to worry.
Switching gears briefly, The Social Network has the star power of Timberlake who is the subject of early Oscar nomination buzz for his performance. The smattering of, ahem, color is coming in the form Rashida Jones (Quincy’s daughter) who plays Marylin Delpy and some smaller roles. The IMDB entry for the movie shows Adina Porter portraying “Gretchen’s assistant.” Who is Gretchen and why doesn’t her assistant have a name?
Watch the TV spot for The Social Network. Don’t blink or you’ll miss Rashida Jones say something about 2200 hits. To be frank, David Fincher (the maker of the film) and Zuckerberg will be just fine after the release of the movie. In the scheme of things, they’ll both be paid without having to hold hands.