Snapchat: How Social Media’s Hottest Tool Helped Save Endangered Animals

 At Picture Motion, we take great pride in the talent and new ideas brought to us by our interns. This blog post is brought to you by Samantha Levine, from our New York City office.  

Looking for a way to promote your film AND spread new awareness about a social issue? Join the bandwagon and get on Snapchat! Snapchat is one of the most exciting new social media platforms, taking the digital world by storm. If you don’t already know, Snapchat is an image messaging application, which allows users to send and receive photos for up to ten seconds at a time, before they disappear. These “short lived” images can consist of photos, some with emoji or hand drawn graphics, and even short videos. Over 100 million people use Snapchat everyday to send images to friends and family, post and view stories, watch live streaming events from around the world in real time, and utilize this space to launch and view innovative campaigns.

It is safe to say that some of the most successful Snapchat campaigns were created to promote brands and products in a comical manner. Let’s take Taco Bell for instance, who created a filter – a fun overlay of different colors, words, objects -portraying a giant taco that can be placed on any viewer’s head. Funny and playful, yet still extremely effective.

So what if popular accounts use this overwhelmingly popular platform to spark discussion, drive social good, and even raise money? That is exactly what the innovative creators of the #Lastselfie campaign have done.

The key to this campaign is to take Snapchat’s concept of the “timed message” and highlight that time is running out for endangered species. All at the same time of engaging millennials with the widespread phenomenon of the selfie. Before the message disappears, the image asks for help by adopting an animal, sharing, or donating through SMS text messaging (a link is shown at the bottom of every snap leading to a donation cite). By adding the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a friend on snapchat, you can view their popular snaps including images of beautiful animals with different messages along the lines of “Don’t let this be my #Lastselfie”. Constant images would appear as the WWF updated their story, so if you were friends with the WWF account, you could view these powerful photos. It’s clever and genius, and even better because the impact was astonishing.

According to the #Lastselfie official website, after just one week, 40,000 tweets hit 120 million Twitter timelines, meaning 50% of all active Twitter users were exposed to this campaign. Headlines were translated in six different languages, raising massive levels of new global awareness. In just three days, #Lastselfie reached the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) donation target for the entire month. The WWF stated that it’s usually a struggle to reach their monthly donation goals, but #Lastselfie made it possible in three short days.

Another reason to consider using Snapchat for your next digital campaign is the impressive ROI. The swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is 5x higher than the average click-through rate on comparable platforms. Meaning that way more users swipe through Snapchat Ads on a daily basis than they would click ads on say Facebook or Twitter. Snapchat also has an extremely high return on investment, ROI, meaning the investment gains compare favorably to investment cost. The high ROI and constant high levels of engagement make utilizing Snapchat efficient and extremely effective.

While Snapchat  typically thrives with more fun, light-hearted content that has a short-life cycle, we’re seeing an increased willingness of users to share content that is more meaningful and can have an impact as well. Utilizing Snapchat can help films get their content shared, help build their audience, and support a call to action to help increase issue awareness. We highly recommend the use of Snapchat for your next film and hope to be sharing your campaign as an example success story soon!

Want to see some great Snapchat campaigns today? Follow these accounts for inspiration on successful ad campaigns:


By Samantha Levine, New York City

Samantha is currently a sophomore at the University of Maryland pursing her Bachelor’s Degree with a dual major in Communication and Family Science. Growing up, social activism has always been at the forefront of her family life. Samantha is extremely passionate about Women’s rights and social inequalities. After taking several courses specifically related to the Women’s movement and the impact the media has on these issues, Samantha has become increasingly interested in the relationship between the two. As President of her sorority, Samantha is especially interested in motivating and educating her peers to care about these important issues that affect all of us. Samantha is eager to learn and grow as an intern at Picture Motion, and excited to promote awareness of these issues and make an impact at a larger scale.