That's quite an image.
Facebook's parent company Meta aired a rather bizarre Super Bowl ad for its Quest 2 virtual reality headset, in which it compared its customers to a Chuck E- Cheese animatronic knockoff being put through a trash compactor — before being rescued by a kindhearted Quest 2 user.
The ad is presumably meant to get people excited for the company's Metaverse, a dumbed down cartoon playground that allows people — adults, sure, but mainly kids — to hang out in a virtual reality world.
How exactly an animatronic dog destined for the landfill fits into that vision is unclear. Was it perhaps meant to evoke the many ups and downs of having to live through Facebook's many controversial changes in direction?
More likely, the company's depressing ad is meant to trigger a simplistic emotional response — it would be far from the first Super Bowl ad to try to do just that — asking its audience to root for the furry robot, not identify themselves with it. Here, make up your own mind.
But it's also representative of Meta's much larger issue of building a convincing enough case that people actually need the metaverse to spend time with family and loved ones. While Meta may liken its customers to a rejected canine fur ball with legs, people in the real world still have far more agency than that, despite lockdowns and mandates.
So who is this misguided Super Bowl ad really for? Is it meant to be a distraction from uncomfortable straps and motion sickness? Has the company behind the biggest social media network in the world forgotten that fun can still be had in the real world?
We, on the other hand, have yet to give up faith.
READ MORE: Meta’s Quest 2 Super Bowl ad takes a retired animatronic dog into the metaverse [The Verge]