WWF Leveraged Snapchat For Social Awareness

4 Min Read. |

World Wide Fund for Nature

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded on April 29, 1961, working in the field of the biodiversity conservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.1 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. The organisation is committed to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. WWF’s vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. The organisation’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. WWF is a foundation, with 55% of funding from individuals and bequests, 19% from government sources (such as the World Bank, DFID, USAID) and 8% from corporations in 2014. Among many other issues, the organisation is majorly concerned with endangered species, sustainable production of commodities and climate change issues.

Business Objective

The Danish arm of WWF in 2014 launched an extremely emotive campaign called ‘Last Selfie’ using the social site- Snapchat. The campaign aimed at emphasizing on the issue of ‘Extinction of endangered species’ and raise awareness about the plight of endangered species.

Strategy adopted by WWF

Snapchat is a popular medium for sharing videos and photos with your network of friends. Snapchat has a special feature for sender to set a time limit for viewing the content by the recipient, which ranges between 1 to 10 seconds.

WWF did a smart spin of the Snapchat’s feature, by sharing selfies of endangered species of polar bear, dolphins, and tigers under the hashtag #LastSelfie. The images clicked and videos shared were from real life instances to create the requisite emotional connect, which lasted for only 10 seconds (as set by WWF), before they disappeared from the screen.  Due to the Snapchat feature, the images could not be saved or archived. The recipients were urged to share the image on Twitter or Snapchat, adopt the animal or donate towards the cause, lest they permanently disappear. They illustrated the idea of it being the animal’s LastSelfie. The campaign used the urgency notion and urged the viewers to act soon or else the animals would disappear! The call for action theme of the campaign was accentuated with the impactful liners- “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie”/ “Better Take a Screenshot this could be my #LastSelfie”.

The campaign effectively used the Snapchat feature to emphasize how quickly the endangered species will be wiped off the planet dovetailing the 10 seconds and gone theme. Through this campaign, WWF wanted to primarily reach the Millennials audience to inform and garner awareness about the declining population of these species as well as about WWF as an organisation, to encourage donation that would be utilized towards conservation and protection of these species.

Results achieved by Campaign

The campaign, leveraging and capitalizing the popular concept of ‘Selfie’ reached out to Snapchat users along with tapping other social media channels Twitter, Facebook, YouTube effectively.

The campaign received an overwhelming response from the viewers as WWF received ample donations for a month within the first three days of the campaign. The campaign successfully brought in over millions of dollar of donation for WWF in addition to augmenting awareness about the issue.

The videos and images were extensively shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. The commercial created for the campaign received over a million hits/ views on YouTube. Maximum traction for the campaign was received organically on Twitter as the campaign reached out to over half of the platforms active users globally, which is approximately around 120 million people. The overall integration of the campaign with other social media sites resulted in more participation and shares from viewers. The campaign did not limit itself to online space only. Apart from the stimulating content online, the content was well received by news channels across the globe augmenting the awareness level of the campaign.

The key success of the campaign was that WWF was able to effectively create an informative campaign and connect the viewers/ consumers with a cause at a profound level garnering substantial donations. The viewers/ users associated themselves with the cause of the campaign and it organically went viral.


This social media campaign was innovative and experimental. This viral social spread has a lot of learnings for brands to successfully reach out to a generation which is primarily social media oriented.

The campaign’s crux was Messaging and the Medium; Messaging of the campaign was beautifully integrated with the social site’s special feature to emotively convey to the audience the larger issue. Thus for brands it is extremely important to identify the relevant features of social media channels to adequately leverage it and highlight the key message that they want to convey to their target audience.  Additionally, the campaign’s success metrics was measured in terms of its reach, awareness level it generated and the funding that it brought in. Overall, the LastSelfie campaign was a thought-provoking crusade which efficaciously conveyed WWF’s messaging and met its end objective.

Image Credit: WWF website

About the organisation: WWF website & Wikipedia

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