Over the weekend Mashable wrote about a new Facebook ad campaign called "Unexpected Babies" from Olla Condoms, which basically aims to send friend requests to Facebook users from their unborn sons. Yeah, we're not sure what to think about it yet either...
The Brazilian agency behind the idea, Age Isobar, took a male user's name and created a new profile adding Jr. on the end. They then sent the user a friend request and if he chooses to visit the profile he sees an Olla Condoms advertisement and a link to the brand's website.
Since then the blogosphere has been talking about and analysing the campaign, with many admiring it and many others slamming it.
So is "Unexpected Babies" a stroke of creative genius, a little bit creepy or just spam that's probably violating a lot of Facebook's terms of service?
Well firstly you can't deny it's a pretty clever and unique campaign, which many have suggested has been used to raise the profile of the agency and the brand behind it rather than actually scare users into using condoms in future. Chris Matyszczyk of Cnet explains that many Brazilian ad agencies are known for creating ad campaigns that rarely run but are solely used as award submissions. We're not sure whether that's the case here or not, but there's been no word from anyone who's seen the friend requests "in the wild" just yet.
Others have suggested the ads are a little creepy and could really shock the users in question. However, I'm pretty sure once they realise it's an ad and not some sign from a Facebook fortune teller that they'll be more amused than scared.
The thing that presents the biggest problem for a campaign of this nature is the fact that Facebook has many clauses in its terms of service that mean it could probably never happen on a large scale. Facebook is strict about fake profiles and acting to delete those using a nickname or a completely made up person altogether. Although we imagine a few slip through the net for various reasons, a large campaign which takes lots of current names and adds Jr. on the end would presumably be picked up by the Facebook police pretty quickly.
So whether you love it or hate it, let's applaud the "Unexpected Babies" campaign for being a little bit different but not get too angry as Facebook is bound to put an end to it before it even begins.