Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Portal from Facebook launched a brand new holiday campaign with national treasure and footballing legend, Ian Wright.
The campaign features moments with Wrighty and his family that showcase the bells and whistles of the Portal device. The main message across all the ads is that 'if you can't be there, feel there', which makes sense, but feels a bit simple.
The Portal and this campaign are in a weird situation. On the one hand, the pandemic has made it such that consumers easily understand the need for the product and so buying one for Christmas isn't that odd of an idea. People bought a Google Home and Amazon Alexa last year and there's likely space for another gadget.
Early in the pandemic having a tool to video call friends and family from the living room table felt like a no-brain impulse-buy. But now that news of a vaccine has given people hope the pandemic will be over soon, the window to get people to impulse-buy the Portal is also closing.
When lockdown ends and we're over-indexing on in-person meet ups, why would anyone buy a Portal?
You might argue Facebook's goal with this campaign is just to get people to buy the Portal as a Christmas present for themselves and other so doesn't need to make a case for the product beyond that - but I'd disagree.
In the positivity and optimism of the festive period, wouldn't you like to receive (and gift) a present that you'll be excited to use after lockdown? Not one that becomes almost obsolete the moment the new year begins.
As such, this Christmas campaign should really have sold the idea of Portal post-Christmas and post-lockdown. Can I take it outside? Can use it like a tablet and post on Facebook? Can I use it to livestream? Does it redirect calls to my phone while I'm out?
Bottom line: Facebook need to sell me the idea of using the Portal in 2021, otherwise what's the reason for buying one for Christmas.