Snapchat is this social networking app based around the very unusual concept of “self deleting photographs”, this new way of chatting exploded into the vast online “digiverse”. The entire premise of Snapchat is that a user can send pictures to their Snapchat friends and these photos are meant to self-destruct after 10 seconds (that’s the longest you can set the timer to), coupled with the fact that you can only send photographs that you take via the app made Snapchat so unbelievably popular with the 18-25 year old demographic. A certain social networking platform tried to copy the well loved app, blatantly and rather poorly, but that is a topic for another day.
The World Wildlife Fund wanted to generate awareness and involvement from the 18-25year old demographic. WWF took the one thing that users loved about the app, and turned it on its head. They created pictures of the world’s endangered species entitled #LastSelfie, the ticking clock who used to be the bringer of benevolence now, created such unpleasant and uneasy feelings.
Many people are aware of the endangered species in the world, but the boldness and utter blatancy of #LastSelfie’s message, made the idea about the extinction of these animals, a very real and intense experience.
It wasn’t expected. Sort of like a punch to the gut. It shocked the audience.
Sometimes it takes people experiencing these sucker-punching negative feelings, in order to bring about positive change.
WWF took the #selfie meme and subverted it, creating #LastSelfie, before the image disappeared, WWF asked for help, they asked Snapchat users to share, adopt an animal or donate money through SMS to WWF for the endangered species.
After one week of the campaign being launched there were around 40 000 tweets relating to #LastSelfie , these tweets hit 120 million Twitter timelines (that’s half of the entire Twitter population), 120 million people were exposed to the #LastSelfie project, that’s every marketer’s dream come true.
The project was retweeted by Snapchat.
Now with all of these millions of views online the #LastSelfie project had headlines in more than 6 languages, #LastSelfie raised global awareness about the endangered species of the world.
In 3 days WWF reached their donation target for the entire month.
It’s amazing how such a simple concept with a 10 second air time could become the catalyst for such a global shift, it shows you how much of an impact brands could have on shaping the world into a better, greener and healthier place.
Social Media is a very important tool for brands to use but it isn’t merely about getting the most likes, followers or retweets, it’s how this information generates change. A tweet is a tweet is a tweet, but it’s what you do with that tweet, that small snippet of 140 character information is what makes all the difference.
The WWF #LastSelfie project is a perfect example of how social media, can positively change the world.