Snaps for Social Impact

I've been pretty obsessed with Snapchat lately, as you can see here and here.

Clearly, the augmented reality video messaging app isn't just for kids anymore. I started digging around and found some clever ways that nonprofit and social impact marketers are using the platform to connect audiences to their mission in meaningful ways.

Laurie Keith, director of National Media Accounts at The Ad Council, launched a partnership on the platform, called "I am a witness," to combat cyber bullying. Snapchat influencers and fans told their stories and pledged their support to stop bullying, using custom filters. 

 Photo via Laurie Keith.

Photo via Laurie Keith.

Disease-fighting organization (RED) offered three special photo filters on World AIDS Day. Every time a user snapped with a (RED) filter, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $3 to the organization’s crusade against AIDS.

 Image via re/code.

Image via re/code.

WWF in Denmark brought attention to crisis of animal extinction with its “Don’t let this be my #lastselfie” filter on close-up photos of endangered species. The disappearing nature of the photos on Snapchat mirrors the urgency of real life.

Similarly, nonprofit OndAzul of Brazil shared snaps to educate viewers about environmental disasters.

For its #BringBackOurChildhood campaign, UNICEF teamed up with Snapchat artists and influencers, like Shaun McBride, a.k.a. Shonduras, to send out snaps based on drawings done by children displaced by the violence of terrorist group Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.

On a lighter note, as a fun and ridiculous way to engage their young community, DoSomething.org used a combination of Snapchat and text messaging to get followers to sign up for the Would You Rather financial literacy campaign.

 Photo via Mashable.

Photo via Mashable.

Outside of the nonprofit world, Snapchat is used to raise awareness about important global affairs. Panorama, BBC's flagship current affairs program, was a Shorty Award finalist for its Snapchat "day-by-day digital documentary," covering the refugee crisis and migrant journey from the Greek islands into Western Europe.

Another news organization, National Geographic, didn't quite get the memo about how Snapchat works...and created a series of print ads showcasing Snapchat's Face Swap feature, in hopes of delivering the message to "swap prejudice for knowledge." The campaign was supposed to inspire compassion and empathy. I don't know about you, but the creep factor was high for me on this one.

 Image via PSFK.

Image via PSFK.

This is my fifth blog post in a series for #The100DayProject, a project by Elle Luna. I'm naming it the #100Days ofBenevolent: an attempt to kickstart my daily blogging habit, which has been idle for years.