Facebook's IPO Video Focuses on Emotional Appeals

This is not your grandmother's IPO video. Facebook has taken a unique approach in luring investors to buy a stake in the company's initial public offering. 

Staff members tell the Facebook story through a 30-minute video that the CFO says is consistent with their "focus on authentic, engaging communications." Mashable agrees that the video is a different approach to IPO communications:

"It's an interesting take on the normal business investment pitch video-instead of a heavy emphasis on dry finance numbers, Facebook plays to the heartstrings.

"Soft lighting, multiple interview angles and background music fit for sunrise in a nature show combine to make a clear emotional pitch to potential investors."


A theme throughout the video, as you might expect, is connecting people and "changing within a generation, the fabric" of how people communicate. In simple language, Facebook executives explain their platform and how their product functionality makes the web social. They compare Facebook to a game.

Section 3, Advertising, begins to cover financial information. The section profiles Ben & Jerry's, who claim that every dollar spent on Facebook returns $3 in incremental sales. Sheryl Sanberg, Facebook's COO, claims that online advertising will increase, in part because of Facebook's value proposition of "reach, relevance, engagement, and social context."

Section 4, Finance, starts 23 minutes into the 30-minute video. In this section, CFO David Ebersman reviews the number of users (including global penetration rates) revenue (advertising and payments), capital expenditures, operating margins, and future investment plans.

The video ends with Mark Zuckerberg claiming that almost every app will be connected to Facebook in some way.

Discussion Starters:

  • Watch the entire video. Does it convince you to invest? Which are the most and least convincing arguments?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook's approach compared to more traditional IPO communications?