Snapchat and AdColor's AR filter encourages young Black girls to see themselves as astronauts, doctors and more

First work shepherded by the brand's Creative Council came out of contest for young creatives and drew 12 million users in its first two days

Published On
Mar 18, 2021

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Last fall at AdColor Everywhere, the virtual edition of the industry’s largest diversity conference, Snapchat announced the formation of its Creative Council—12 Black industry leaders tasked with helping young creatives hone their craft.

The first initiative out of the collaboration was a young creatives contest featuring briefs from Snapchat and teams made from a diverse cross-section of agency talent. The winning campaign was a filter available on the Snapchat app that lets users insert themselves into aspirational imagery reflecting where Black women are traditionally underrepresented. More than 12 million people used “Show Them Who WE A/RE” in the first two days it was available.

Professions include astronaut, pilot, lawyer, doctor and tech engineer, which users can access in selfie mode, along with stickers and positive affirmations like “ambitious,” “infinite” or “skillful” to post with their pic. An accompanying microsite includes resources for young people looking to pursue those careers. If users switch to World View, they see a video with a voiceover encouraging Black women’s leadership.

“I hope this campaign reaches young Black girls across the world and reminds them to shoot for the moon,” says Makeda Loney, a copywriter at The Martin Agency who worked on the campaign. “Use these powerful Black women as your roadmap of inspiration. Whatever your dream is, see that it is possible to succeed and thrive. Also remember that you get to define what success looks like for yourself. You are smart, talented, capable. Let's take on the world and show them who we are."

“There aren’t many spaces where young Black girls can see themselves reflected or find resources to explore those options in a safe network,” adds another member of the design team, So A Ryu, a designer at FCB Chicago. "We hope that brands begin seeing the importance of creating spaces where Black, Brown and POC creatives can not only show up but guide them in reaching more diverse audiences authentically.”

The members of the winning team that designed the campaign are Loney, Ryu, R/GA Senior Strategist Brandon Heard, BBDO Account Manager Cameron Carr and Terrance Purdy, creative at VICE Media. Tré Seals’ Vocal Type designed the typography, which is inspired by lettering from the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and The March on Washington.

“In addition to the message, the campaign is especially important because of the growth and accomplishments of the winning team throughout the process,” says Jazmin Burrell, creative strategist at Snapchat. “These creatives formed new friendships, started new jobs and earned new promotions all during an extremely challenging time for the world. That in itself is a testament to the strength and resilience of this team.”

Next, Snapchat’s Creative Council is launching a project addressing mental health in the Black community. There will also be local campaigns in the U.K., France and Australia in collaboration with Creative Equals later this year.