Snapchat’s creative council assembles industry leaders to focus on mental health and diversity

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has formed the Snap Creative Council, featuring leading Australian creatives and with the aim of encouraging members to use Snapchat to develop creative solutions to pressing societal issues.

Over the coming weeks, members of the council will nominate small teams to respond to a brief about mental health and civic duty against racism amongst Gen Z and Millennials using Snapchat’s ad formats. The winning campaign will be produced and launched on Snapchat with supporting media, and the team will be able to choose one of five global charities to receive a donation of $100,000.

The formation of the council follows Snapchat pushing the unique qualities of its users in its first global B2B marketing campaign. Dubbed ‘The Snapchat Generation’, Snap reports that its users are a unique market for brands due to their social activism and higher likelihood to purchase from brands that support the community and are recommended by friends.

Will Scougal, Snap’s global director of creative strategy, said: “We believe that ideas that live on the small screen can have a big impact, and for Gen Z and millennials that screen is powered by Snapchat. The SCC will serve as a powerful forum made up of a diverse and inclusive community from the advertising industry, and is a commitment from Snap to use our reach to drive positive change.”

Ali Hanan, CEO of Creative Equals, added that “representation matters”, while R/GA’s Ciaran Park noted that the pandemic has demanded we focus more on mental health.

“During this global pandemic, social interaction has evolved at an increased rate from a physical to a more digital format and for many people this is, unsurprisingly, a first time experience,” Park said.

“However, sadly for many, this isolation isn’t new. The pandemic is only compounding issues that many have to suffer with daily. Mental health needs better support right now and with everyone switching to more small screened experience, Snap is perfectly situated to help.”

The council was formed in partnership with Creative Equals, an organisation fighting for diversity in the creative industry and involves Australian creatives from all various seniority levels.

The group includes:

  • Aden Hepburn, CEO at Akcelo
  • Barbara Humphries, creative director at The Monkeys
  • Brad Eldridge, executive creative director at Isobar
  • Ciaran Park, executive technology director at R/GA
  • Damian Asling, copywriter at Clemenger BBDO
  • Gavin Mcleod, executive creative director at Ogilvy
  • Helen James, executive creative director at Che Proximity
  • Mandie van der Merwe, executive creative director at M&C Saatchi
  • Nathan Moraza, social creative lead at DDB
  • Sarah McGregor, creative director at Cummins & Partners
  • Scott Huebscher, freelance creative director

M&C Saatchi’s Mandie van der Merwe noted “there is an opportunity here to come together, as an industry, and do some good in the world. The council’s focus on racism and the toll it takes on people’s mental health is hyper-relevant right now. I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas that tackle this massive issue”.

And Damian Asling, a copywriter at Clemenger BBDO, concluded that the council will “amplify ideas and thinking that gives creative answers to the problems we all face within digital and physical worlds”.


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