Triumph of the Shill

At right, you see photos of a pair of historical sisters. At top is Leni Riefenstahl, maker of history’s most infamous propaganda film. Below Ms. Reifenstahl is Rebecca Van Dyck, overseer of one of history’s most recent propaganda films. Though Van Dyck would undoubtedly feel outraged at the observation, the fact is that she performs exactly the same work as Reifenstahl: Making emotional advertisements for extremely dangerous ruling organizations and classes.

Van Dyck’s new product is the 90-second “emotional spot” she produced on behalf of our friends at Facebook, in her capacity there as VP of “consumer marketing.”

Van Dyck’s dishonesty about the nature of her employer and the motives of her film-making are as breath-taking as it gets.

Regarding Facebook, here’s her explanation to Ad Age:

The film, titled “Things That Connect,” opens with a series of artful, emotional vignettes of people sitting and interacting on chairs — before moving on to other objects and events through which folks come together, such as a doorbell, airplanes, bridges or a basketball game. The point being, that all these things exist, perhaps, to remind us that we’re not alone.

“What we’re trying to articulate is that we as humans exist to connect, and we at Facebook to facilitate and enable that process,” explained Van Dyck.

So, which do you believe, dear TCT faithful? The claim that Facebook is a charity doing social work on behalf of its users, or its founder and CEO’s statement that “Our business is advertising”? Van Dyck thinks you’re too uninformed and stupid to make the call. (She also relies on the fact that the contrast will remain concealed from her film’s target audience.)

The timing of Van Dyck’s psy-op is certainly no accident, either, as it exactly overlaps Facebook’s just-announced (to its real end-users) further removal of restrictions on marketer access to its unprecedented demographic and behavioral databases.

For those who need to look at the car crash, here you go: