By Ciara Sebecke
Snapchat is an uber-popular social media platform that is often uncharted territory. Finessing this platform is a tough code to track but solving it is many a marketer’s dream. When the World Wildlife Fund embraced this tricky platform in their latest #LastSelfie campaign, using Snapchats as a metaphor for endangered species, they truly rocked it.
Agencies UncleGrey and 41? 29! knew that “Generation Y” used Snapchat more than any other platform, and wanted to get WWF’s message around that if we don’t do something about endangered species, we may not ever see them again.
WWF encouraged users of the platform to follow their Turkey, Denmark, and Italy accounts. They would then post images and send Snapchats to users with messages like, “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie,” “Better take a screenshot this could be my #LastSelfie” and “In 6 seconds, I’ll be gone forever, but you can still save my kind.”
Snapchat was truly the ideal platform for this campaign with timed messages that perfectly symbolized the endangered species’ time running out.
This campaign was not only brilliantly thought out, but wildly successful. In the first day there were 40,000 shares on Twitter globally, with media coverage from Fast Company, Ad Week, ABC, and Snapchat themselves. The WWF reached their fundraising target for the month in 3 days, according to the agencies. The campaign was even extended because it was so successful.
What makes this campaign such a #SocialWin?
Engagement with the audience. Not only did a ton of millennials engage with the WWF accounts by screenshotting and sharing the images to Twitter and Facebook, but the WWF engaged with their followers as well. Sending snaps to individual users makes them feel super special and increases their likelihood to snap that screenshot and share the image.
Dominating multiple channels with one campaign. WWF really killed two or three birds with one stone on this campaign. But by making the images so shareable, Snapchat users took the campaign to Twitter and even Facebook without WWF’s interference. This is not a campaign where the organization is forced beg for retweets. They knew that the heartfelt messages and adorable animals would go viral among their intended audience.
Successfully using a new social platform for advertising. A handful of marketers have tried to use Snapchat for strategic communication but few, if any, have succeeded. This campaign felt natural for the platform where other campaigns felt forced. The #LastSelfie campaign really resonated with the audience at an emotional level. (It is also important to note their successful use of “selfie culture.” Many campaigns that have played on this in the past felt awkward and unnatural.)
Creating a successful campaign from scratch. One of the reasons that WWF decided to focus on a social media strategy utilizing peer to peer sharing and word-of-mouth advertising was their lack of a budget. They had no media budget for this campaign but generated a ton of earned media and social capital. The fact that the campaign was so successful and in such a short amount of time proves that it truly went viral on its own and not from paid media or purchased impressions.
The #LastSelfie campaign was no doubt a #SocialWin from a successful and creative non-profit organization. If there was anything to improve on, it would have been extended the campaign to even more countries!