Learn | 06.25.2020

How To Use An Instagram Face Filter To Spread Awareness Of A Cause

We created our own Instagram face filter to shed light on the Last Prisoner Project. A movement that aims to liberate more than 40,000 people imprisoned for non-violent cannabis crimes in the US. Find out how.

1. What is a Face Filter?

If you spend time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen people using face filters, or even used one yourself. Launched in late 2019, augmented reality (AR) filters are one of social media’s biggest trends. While Instagram filters are a great way to organically engage and educate your audience, they can also be powerful in spreading awareness of causes. We chose to use this emerging promotional tool to raise awareness for a special cause, the Last Prisoner Project, on Instagram. 

The Last Prisoner Project aims to release 40,000 prisoners incarcerated for non-violent cannabis-related charges who are extremely at risk due to COVID-19. The movement is making waves, and a sea change is happening in cannabis.

2. Designing the “Let Them Out” Face Filter

The strategy behind this face filter was to appeal to the largest audience possible. This way, we could maximize spreading awareness for the Last Prisoner Project. How to achieve maximum relevance? Everybody loves games! 

The filter that we chose to have created is an interactive game: “Blink at 40,000” is displayed on an LED scoreboard above the user’s head. Once the user taps the screen, a counter from 0 to 40,000 is triggered. To win this game, the user must blink exactly when the scoreboard counter hits 40,000. This engrains the number 40,000 in the user’s mind, sparking curiosity as to the number’s significance. This curiosity is further developed when the counter displays “Let Them Out”, leading to questions of who must be let out. Curious users can see that the filter belongs to Herb, and then visit our profile to understand more about the Last Prisoner Project. Try the filter yourself!

Our filter was designed to be easy to use and accessible to everyone on Instagram! The game sparks the competitive nature of everyone and encourages organic sharing. When people saw their friends using it and successfully blinking at 40,000, they had to try as well. This has resulted in constant shares and adoption of the game filter, and therefore, constant growth of awareness about the Last Prisoner Project. 

3. Leveraging the Network Effect

An additional benefit of making the “Let Them Out” filter a game was engaging people who were not already aware of The Last Prisoner Project, and in doing so educating them about this important cause. To do this, we planned a launch strategy to maximize the organic engagement of the filter by encouraging Last Prisoners Project supporters to share the filter to their story with an explanation.

We knew that our followers who cared about this cause would want to share the filter to spread awareness. To thank them for their support and encourage more sharing we reposted their stories using the filter to our story to highlight the strength of the support behind the movement. Of course, users could always be redirected to the Herb Instagram account to learn more, as our handle is always included in the post when the filter is used.

With all these different steps having gone into launching our filter, we have had such a positive reaction! In just one week 350,000 people saw the filter, and almost 2,000 people had shared it. Our face filter continues to average at about 10,000 impressions per day, an impression being when a person sees the filter on a screen. That’s 10,000 more people every day who know about the Last Prisoner Project and non-violent incarcerated individuals at risk for contracting COVID-19.

How did we make our Face Filter?

To create our custom “Let Them Out” filter, we worked with specialized agency New Future Creative. Supporting our mission to spread the message of those in need, the team at New Future Creative worked with us to make our vision come to life. 

The down-low is that if you have something to be promoted on Instagram, face filters are definitely a tool that you want in your pocket. Share the “Let Them Out” filter now to keep the momentum going!

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