Snap’s first Oscars ad promotes new filter for the deaf community

The ad is the social media giant’s first to air during the Academy Awards.

Social media giant Snap dedicated its first ad campaign to ever air during the Oscars to the deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) communities.

The campaign, which aired during the 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony on ABC on Sunday, promotes a new filter that translates sign language into written letters. The spot depicts people who are deaf and hard of hearing using the new lens to spell out the word “Congrats!”

A spokesperson from Snap called the ad an “artful, human and joyful ad depicting fingerspelling Lenses in action.”

Snap partnered with SignAll to create an augmented reality (AR) filter that would allow the deaf and hard of hearing communities to use its platform — and encourage its 238 million daily active users to get interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL).

The new feature and campaign come as CODA, a film about a child of deaf adults, is earning much recognition at Hollywood Awards shows this season.

In addition to the film, Snap was encouraged to create the lens after a group of deaf and HOH team members formed an internal network called the “Deafengers.” Their “thoughtful feedback and perspective” helped show how the Snap camera can “be a force for good,” according to a spokesperson. 

In a statement provided to Camapign US, Snap CMO Kenny Mitchell said: “We made this ad to showcase the groundbreaking technology and encourage Snapchatters everywhere to learn ASL via augmented reality. It’s important to us to make that human-to-human connection possible for everyone in our community, and that’s why we are passionate about fostering linguistic equity between people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing and the hearing world.”

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