National Geographic Just Did a Face Swap Ad Campaign, and It's Very Weird Indeed

Y&R's message of empathy gets lost

Hit refresh on your social media strategies. Head to Social Media Week in NYC this April 9–11 for campaign insights, content inspiration and new industry connections. Register before March 4 to save 20% on your pass.

National Geographic has tried to put a 21st century spin on the idiom "Walk a mile someone else's shoes." Instead of shoes, people swap faces—a la Snapchat's face swap tool—in an odd new print campaign from Y&R São Paulo. 

The intentions of the campaign are sound. The "Swap Prejudice for Knowledge" campaign is meant to combat intolerance and encourage empathy. But the resulting work is lacking and potentially offensive. 

Does face swapping in a photo help you understand the other person's life, their circumstances, their problems, what it might be like to be another race? Certainly not.



Subscribe today!

To Read the Full Story Become an Adweek+ Subscriber

View Subscription Options

Already a member? Sign in