By Justin Gamble

It was harder than I thought it would be to think of a social media campaign that I’d consider to be a social win. I mean, I’m on social media constantly, I probably see at least ten different campaigns everyday. I really wanted to write about a campaign that had a big impact on not just the company that implemented the campaign, but on everyone that witnessed it. In my research I came across a campaign that I was surprised I hadn’t heard about before: the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Snapchat campaign called #LastSelfie.

If you aren’t familiar with the WWF, it is the worlds leading conservation organization. Working in more than 100 countries and having over 5 million members worldwide, the WWF is an enormous influencer on how we treat our planet, animals, and climate. The WWF is completely funded by donations made to the organization. You’d think a cause as good as the WWF would have no problem receiving enough donations to function, however that’s not always the case.

The WWF ‘s #LastSelfie campaign was introduced in 2014, just as Snapchat was starting to become a big player in the realm of social media. The WWF wanted to target the Millennial generation because they are a lot harder to reach via classic forms of advertising. Snapchat is an application, used predominantly by teenagers, where a user can send an image to someone else for a maximum of ten seconds and then the image vanishes for good and is gone forever. Using this to their advantage, the WWF saw an opportunity to raise donations and awareness amongst the Millennial generation.

Users who followed the WWF on Snapchat were sent a picture of an endangered animal that, just like a Snapchat picture, could vanish at any moment. Each picture featured a call to action requesting either an SMS donation or asked the recipient to take a screenshot and share it with their social network to raise awareness. The sharing of the pictures was vital to the WWF’s campaign seeing as they operated this campaign with zero media budget. The WWF knew going into the campaign that sharing via social networks would be critical for the campaign to be successful so they partnered with some major social influencers to help get the campaign trending.

Pictures of various endangered animals accompanied by text urging the viewer to donate and share the picture.

Pictures sent by the WWF to users that were apart of their Snapchat network. Photo taken from Webbyawards.com

The Mobile Marketing Association noted that within the first eight hours of the campaign, there was already 5,000 tweets that had been seen on 6 million Twitter feeds. As impressive as that is, after just one week of the campaign, 40,000 tweets reached as many as 120 million twitter users, which was roughly half of all active Twitter users at the time. Not only was the reach of the #LastSelfie campaign incredible, but the results for the WWF were equally as impressive. After three days, before the #LastSelfie had even reached its peak, the WWF had already reached its monthly funding target.

I think it’s obvious that this was a huge social win for the WWF. Half of the worlds Twitter population at the time was exposed to the campaign despite it starting out as a Snapchat campaign. The correlation between the permanent disappearance of a picture and the permanent disappearance of an animal species really hit home for a huge part of the Millennial generation. The campaign was featured by companies such as Fast Company, Adweek, Creativity Online, Reuters, NBC and many others as “one of the most clever uses of Snapchat and the selfie trend”. I don’t think I could have come up with a better advertising campaign with no media budget. The combination of using Snapchat to raise awareness about endangered animals was a truly genius marketing strategy.

If you are interested in donating to the WWF you can make a donation here.

 

 

References

#LastSelfie. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.justforthis.com/

 

#LastSelfie. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://webbyawards.com/winners/2015/advertising-media/campaign-categories/social-media-campaigns/lastselfie/

 

MMA Case Study Hub | #LastSelfie. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.mmaglobal.com/case-study-hub/case_studies/view/31740

 

WWF Snaps #Lastselfie of Endangered Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/wwf-snaps-

 

WWF’s #LastSelfie Reaches Millennials, Underscores Snapchat Constraints. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from https://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2340740/wwf-s-lastselfie-reaches-millennials-underscores-snapchat-constraints