Champion for Good: Snapchat’s Sofia Gross
Meet our newest Champion for Good: Sofia Gross! Sofia leads Political & Nonprofit Partnerships as part of Snap Inc.’s Public Policy team. See what she had to say about working in the social good space and inspiring human progress.
Question: How have you worked with the Ad Council? What campaign(s) have you supported and what was the project you worked on with us?
Sofia Gross: Snapchat and the Ad Council have been working as partners for a few years now. There are so many campaigns we’ve been proud to highlight in our platform but the most recent one is the one I am most proud of — Bullying Prevention Month. One of our favorite parts of the Because of You campaign was that the creative was produced and directed by teenagers themselves. That felt like a native fit for Snap.
Q: Social good ads pull at our heartstrings. What social good ad has made you cry or stand up and cheer?
SG: I am so easily affected by many of these brilliant campaigns — as a former collegiate athlete I love all the inspirational Nike ads around dreaming big and believing in yourself. Whether it be about your age, your disability, your gender, these ads have had such a powerful way of inspiring people to spread positivity.
Q: How do you or your team integrate social good into your work, or how do you think your brand is making the world a better place?
SG: Snapchat was designed to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves with their close friends and family. Given Snapchat’s popularity among teens, and our values that encourage kindness and inspire creativity, social good naturally fits into a lot of the work we do across the platform.
Q: What was the greatest piece of advice someone gave you, and how did it end up helping you?
SG: So much of the advice I lend comes from advice my mom gave me. I have two favorites from her — “Shoot for the moon, you’ll land on a star” and that “If you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.” The first has constantly pushed me to challenge myself and never settle in many components of my life, and the second challenges me to approach every situation as an opportunity for learning.
Q: What age would you want to meet up with your former self, and what advice would you give to that younger you?
SG: I would want to encourage the same sentiment to my younger self during the college process and the job process and just instill the understanding that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.
Q: How has your organization improved or innovated the digital landscape in the last year?
SG: One thing I am continuously amazed by is our ability to normalize augmented reality — whether it be a 3D “mini me” or a lens encouraging users to get to the polls, and I’m excited to see more of it.
Q: What value(s) of your organization are you most proud of?
SG: Recently, we modified our mission statement and added in a section about contributing to human progress — I think this aligns so well with the social impact work that we are doing in relation to civic engagement especially. This year, we helped register around 420,000 people to vote and around 57% of those were between the ages of 18–24.
Q: What can we look forward to from your organization this year?
SG: I’m looking forward to expanding this work in the civic engagement space to our international markets and help inspire our users to be leaders in their own communities. Our VP of Public Policy has said — “there is no more powerful form of self-expression than the ability to vote… The numbers we’ve seen have been fantastic and have shown us that our users have been some of the most engaged communities out there.”
Q: Tell us what you hope to see more of or experience more of in the next year, using only emojis.