Ellie Halter

Unlike SeaWorld’s campaign, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) created a #SocialWin with their “Last Selfie” campaign on snapchat. They created what vice president and associate creative director of advertising agency BBDO calls a prime example of the medium as the message. It’s what Elena Prokopets of the Huffington Post called a “digital storytelling campaign.”


Photo courtesy of AdWeek.com

During the campaign, WWF in Turkey and Denmark occasionally sent their followers snaps of endangered animals like “tigers, rhinos, orangutans, pandas and polar bears” according to an article by PRNewswire. These pictures were accompanied by emotive phrases like “don’t let this be my last selfie” and “better take a screenshot.” Their pictures reinforced the idea that these animals are disappearing quickly through the platform’s similarly disappearing pictures. As they told the writers of “the Webbys,” their objective was to “raise awareness amongst Millenials and increase donations to protect endangered animals.”

Why did the campaign work? It reached Millenials, who “tend to stay away from traditional media” according to Kyle Basedow, a blogger for Newhouse Social Media. The purpose of the campaign was to not only gain awareness, but also to gain awareness among a younger generation, as Snapchat’s main demographic is 13 to 25 year olds. The idea of an animal “selfie” was successful because it resonated with the young audience to whom the World Wildlife Fund was marketing. WWF says they chose it because it is “‘Wildly’ popular among teens,” according to the Webby’s summary of the campaign. Though many advertisers have stayed away from snapchat due to its transient qualities, WWF found that it was the perfect platform to represent their cause.

Not to our surprise, the #LastSelfie campaign didn’t stay on one platform for long. According to environmental blogger Mary Nolet, the World Wildlife Fund encouraged Snapchat users to promote the selfies on other platforms such as Twitter, FaceBook, and even Pinterest. Though WWF feared attempting to use snapchat for advertising, it proved effective for them.  With the relatable concept of the selfie and a one sentence call to action on each snap, WWF was able to create a successful campaign on snapchat, unlike many other companies.

According to the official #LastSelfie page, the message was “posted by 40,000 twitter users” and “seen by 120 million users in one week.” In addition, the site reached its monetary “monthly target” in just three days because of the campaign. To put this in perspective, the site boasts that the campaign was viewed “50 percent of all active twitter users.”

There’s not a lot of room for improvement when it comes to this campaign. It met it’s goal of reaching millennials while gaining awareness and funds seamlessly. It was a well thought out campaign by the advertising agencies 41? 29! and UncleGrey that allowed the message to become cross-platform. If I had to choose one thing, I think I would say that planting the screenshots on other platforms originally, such as Vine, Pinterest and Tumblr might have allowed the selfies to be more accessible to those wanting to share it. The mobility and quick response of the message, however, shows that supporters had no problem screenshotting and spreading the content themselves. The brand captured millenials through #TheLastSelfie, and is continuing to do so through their newest campaign, as the Guardian notes, with the #EndangeredEmoji 🐳🐼🐘


Works Cited

Ballve, M. (2014, August) Snapchat’s Explosive Growth Among Teens And Millennials Means It’s Emerging As A Powerful Brand Platform. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/a-primer-on-snapchat-and-its-demographics-2014-7

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

Darley, E. (2015, July). Emoji’s Have Gone Mainstream and it’s Time for Brands to Get Involved. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/jul/06/emojis-mainstream-brand-marketing

Nolet, M. (2015, December). The World Wildlife Fund’s Last Selfie Campaign. WWF Uses Snapchat to Target Millenials. Retrieved from https://storify.com/mnolet/world-wildlife.


Prokopets, E. (2015, November). 4 Key Social Media Marketing Trends To Lead The Game in 2016. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elena-prokopets/4-key-social-media-market_b_8589968.html

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

(2014, April). Grey And The World Wildlife Fund Use Snapchat To Raise Awareness Of Endangered Animals. The #LastSelfie Campaign Calls on People to Act Using Social Media Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grey-and-the-world-wildlife-fund-use-snapchat-to-raise-awareness-of-endangered-animals-255662491.html