- Freeform, the basic cable channel owned by Disney, partnered with Snap on an activation that promotes the upcoming alternate history series "Motherland: Fort Salem," according to details shared with Mobile Marketer. The campaign that launched on International Women's Day (March 8) will run throughout March in recognition of Women's History Month.
- The campaign uses Snapchat's front-facing AR Marker camera technology to let consumers virtually remove male figures featured on real U.S. currency and replace them with General Alder, the female lead of the show about witches.
- When put in selfie mode, the activation displays an alternate U.S. flag inspired by the one in "Motherland: Fort Salem," which has pentagrams in place of stars representing the 50 states. For the series premiere on March 18, Freeform will also run a National AR Lens that creates storm systems around the user, referencing the powers of witches on the program.
Freeform is emphasizing the female-led cast of "Motherland: Fort Salem" through a campaign that leverages augmented reality (AR) to gender flip U.S. currency. The series depicts an alternate version of America where witches fought back against the Salem trials 300 years ago and struck a deal with the government to become a magical defense force.
"Motherland: Fort Salem" centers on themes of empowerment, female bonds and using the power of voice to spur societal change, according to press materials. Freeform's centerpiece activation promoting the show works by hovering a smartphone camera over U.S. dollars and then using the AR Marker tech to virtually burn away the face of the currency, revealing a $20 bill profiling Adler underneath.
A mobile-first marketing push for the alternate history series with a feminist slant is timed for a month that aims to shed light on women's achievements, especially those that are frequently overlooked. Making currency changes a focus of the campaign shows Freeform stepping into potentially controversial territory.
Activists and political figures for years have championed removing certain male figures from dollar bills, notably President Andrew Jackson on the $20 note. A planned overhaul to replace Jackson, who owned slaves, with abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill has recently stalled.
Other marketers and influencers are also leveraging Snapchat to spread messages around Women's History Month. Cyrene Quiamco, a Lens creator, developed a holiday-themed lens called "Women in the News" that spotlights female historical figures. These activations look to engage Snapchat's typically young user base. The app for disappearing messages and videos reaches 90% of 13- to 24-year-olds in the U.S., according to Snap statistics, and over 218 million consumers daily.