The Social Network, the movie about the murky origins of Facebook and its primary creator, Mark Zuckerberg, has been out for just over a week now. Just after its release, David Carr wrote a piece for The New York Times looking at how the “Film Version of Zuckerberg Divides Generations“.
YouGov BrandIndex, a company that measures consumer perception, is now offering numbers to back up the perceived generational divide.
“When you talk to people afterward, it was as if they were seeing two different films,” Scott Rudin, one of the film’s producers, told Carr. “The older audiences see Zuckerberg as a tragic figure who comes out of the film with less of himself than when he went in, while young people see him as completely enhanced, a rock star, who did what he needed to do to protect the thing that he had created.”
Looking at the numbers from YouGov, the generational divide seems evident.
YouGov asks respondents to rate their impression of a brand on a scale of -100 to 100. During the time leading up to the movie’s release, the 18-34 demographic had a brand impression of Facebook that dipped as low as 23.5 on Sept. 22, but nearly doubled to 51.5 on Oct. 6. The movie was released on Oct. 2. For the 35-49 demographic, the company identified “plenty of zig zagging”, but notes that the 50-plus demographic saw a “decisive negative impact”.
Coming from someone in that younger demographic, I have to say, I left the movie feeling inspired. The movie came off as the story of someone that pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, defied authority and won. On the way into the movie, however, an older man (definitely of the 35-plus demographic) commented on how the movie made him leery of ever using the site again.
I guess we were just generationally divided.