By: Erin Pogue

The World Wildlife Fund, one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, needed to find a way to increase donations and awareness of the endangered species fleeting our planet. On April 9, 2014, The Danish branch of WWF began the Snapchat campaign titled, #LastSelfie, that quickly went international.

The goal of the campaign was to engage Millennials with the use of Snapchat and Twitter and encourage donations while increasing awareness. The WWF incorporated the idea of a “vanishing” Snapchat with the idea of endangered animals that are vanishing from our planet, never to be seen again. A Snapchat user that followed WWF received a #LastSelfie, which was a snap of an endangered species, all with the same call to action: “Don’t let this be my #lastselfie.” Before they let this animal disappear, users were asked for an SMS donation to the fund or the social sharing of these Snapchats.

One of the Snapchat messages sent to followers of WWF

(source: wwf.panda.org)

Twitter became a key supporting platform in this campaign, as the idea behind social sharing was for the user to take a screenshot of the image they received on Snapchat and then Tweet it out to their followers on Twitter. Because of a new generation sharing the message of the fleeting, endangered species through these widely used social media platforms, WWF was able to reach a worldwide audience they wouldn’t have been able to reach alone.

By being one of the first international campaigns to communicate its message through the increasing platform of Snapchat, this creative strategy is a social win. Although the campaign originated from the Denmark WWF offices, its ability to reach nearly every other country’s branch to further promote its message is what made this campaign such a success. The WWF gained attention from media outlets everywhere, such as Adweek and NBC, and even received a Webby Award for 2015 People’s Choice: Social Media Campaign.

In just one week, 120 million Twitter users saw the message of WWF, which is fifty percent of all active Twitter users. Forty thousand Tweets were shared globally and helped the organization reach its monthly donation goal in only three days. The #LastSelfie campaign found the ability to relate to their audience as well as evoke an emotional response. The creativity of connecting the idea behind a widely used social network and the reality of vanishing species made this campaign globally memorable.

The social media campaign started when Snapchat was just starting off and advertisers weren’t breaking in to the platform quite yet. While the WWF campaign was a huge success, today’s new features of the app could help improve the execution even more. Snapchat’s Story Explorer feature shares worldwide events at the top of every user’s story screen. Because of this new feature, the WWF campaign could use this ability to reach users that don’t necessarily have to be specific followers of their account. Being a more susceptible platform to advertiser’s now, Snapchat gives companies the ability to create full-screen content to share with every user through their Discover icons. The WWF campaign could be broadcasted even more through the ability to share their campaign video as well as the direct and personal Snapchats.

References:

Prokopets, E. (2015, November 19). 4 Key Social Media Marketing Trends to Lead the   Game in 2016. Huffington Post. Retrieved from       http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elena-prokopets/4-key-social-mediamarket_b_8589968.html

Dougherty, O. (2014, April 17). Grey and the World Wildlife Fund Use Snapchat To           Raise Awareness Of Endangered Animals. PR Newswire. Retrieved from      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grey-and-the-world-wildlife-fund-            use-snapchat-to-raise-awareness-of-endangered-animals-255662491.html

Beer, J. (2014, April 13). World Wildlife Fund Uses Snapchat To Warn Of Endangered Animals’ “Last Selfie.” Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcocreate.com/3029017/world-wildlife-fund-uses-snapchat-to-warn-of-endangered-animals-last-selfies

Olenski, S. (2015, August 21). The 3 Best Social Media Campaigns of 2015 (So Far). Forbes. Retrieved from         http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/08/21/the-3-best-social-media-campaigns-of-2015-so-far/2/#5a433501197e

Castillo, M. (2014, April 18). WWF Snaps #Lastselfie of Endangered Animals. Adweek. Retrieved from                                                                      http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/wwf-snaps-lastselfie-endangered-animals-157138

(n.d.). #LastSelfie. Webby Awards. Retrieved from http://webbyawards.com/winners/2015/advertising-media/campaign-categories/social-media-campaigns/lastselfie/

(n.d.). WWF Denmark: #LastSelfie. Mobile Marketing Association. Retrieved from http://www.mmaglobal.com/case-study-hub/case_studies/view/31740