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Feeding America an early nonprofit adopter of Snapchat filters

Nonprofit Feeding America is raising awareness of the hunger problem in the United States with a comprehensive mobile-driven campaign that takes the typical selfie activation to the next level by leveraging Snapchat for an out-of-home engagement opportunity. 

In one of Snapchat?s first nonprofit partnerships, consumers in New York?s Times Square last week were able to access filter based on the focal image of the campaign, an orange spoon. The mobile and social focus continues throughout the month of September, providing consumers with multiple opportunities to show their support via Facebook and Twitter. 

?Millennials are an important, yet relatively new, strategic audience for Feeding America,? said Danielle Himmelman, marketing manager at Feeding America. ?This campaign in particular has additional emphasis in the targeting of this consumer segment, because we know that they are highly interested in social issues and are driven to get involved to help solve them. 

?We also know that Snapchat's user base includes hundreds of millions of users per month, which is a great way to engage millennials where they already are and tell our story to this important audience in order to hopefully mobilize them in the fight to solve hunger,? she said. 

Orange spoon
The goal of Feeding America?s Spoontember campaign is to engage U.S. consumers in the fight against hunger and bring attention to the fact that 49 million people in the country face hunger. The campaign?s orange spoon is the central icon for Hunger Action Month. 

The social media activation encourages consumers to share an image of themselves balancing a spoon on their nose on social media along with hunger-related statistics and encouragement for friends to do the same. 

The campaign?s related hashtags are #Spoontember and #HungerActionMonth. 

Feeding America is also leveraging Thunderclap, which refers to itself as a crowdspeaking site, to try to amplify the message. The Hunger Action Month Thunderclap page launched on Sept. 3. Here, visitors can donate their personal Facebook and Twitter feeds to share a message in tandem with thousands of other supporters. 

Also on Sept. 3, Feeding America handed out orange spoons for a couple of hours to visitors to New York?s Times Square and encouraged them to post a selfie for a chance see themselves on a billboard in the square. 

The Snapchat activation also took place on Sept. 3 in Times Square, with visitors able to access the orange spoon filter between 11 am and 3 pm. 

Ramping up mobile
While many nonprofits have embraced text-to-give fundraising, overall the sector has struggled to fit mobile into general awareness campaigns. 

Nonprofits recognize the need to embrace mobile marketing as their traditional constituent base begins to age and engaging younger consumers becomes more important. 

The Feeding America campaign, which was developed in partnership with digital agency 360i and the Ad Council, is a good example of how mobile and social can be used to engage younger consumers via activities they are already participating in, such as posting selfies. 

?A majority of consumers are interacting with social content and Web sites on mobile - so ensuring that the site and all social programs were optimized for mobile and responsively designed was a priority for us as we developed the campaign,? Ms. Himmelman said. 

?Furthermore, we believe that in allowing potential supporters to participate by taking selfies on their cell phones, the campaign creates an opportunity for participation that is in line with how consumers are already engaging with each other and with brands,? she said. 

?Finally, as part of this grassroots effort, we have engaged our media agency partners to solicit media donors for donated mobile media in order to further our communication touchpoints with potential supporters. For this effort, we created mobile versions of our digital ads.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York