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Deutsch Targets Millennials with WATERisLIFE Venmo Micro Hack

Agency turns 1,000 one cent payments into individual ads that dominated Venmo's global news feed

Deutsch Targets Millennials with WATERisLIFE Venmo Micro Hack

WATERisLIFE partnered with Deutsch to hack Venmo by turning 1,000 1-cent payments into individual ads that dominated their global news feed.

Launched on the 4th of July, Deutsch closely monitored Venmo’s public global news feed, identified what people were paying for, clicked their name, sent them a micro payment and then used the entire 2,000-character caption to create real-time targeted ads. People who were paying each other back for anything from a slice of pizza to a movie ticket received a micro payment with relatable captions such as, “1 cent can’t buy you pizza. But for just 3 cents, you can buy someone clean water for a day.” Ads were then automatically published to that person’s news feed for all their friends to see it – and to Venmo’s global feed, allowing all app users to see it.

Over the 24-hour period, almost 1,000 people received the ads disguised as payment descriptions, costing the charity ONLY $10. And in true hacker fashion, WATERisLIFE has published all of the micro ads to their website, so that anyone can use them to infiltrate Venmo and spread the message for the charity.

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Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Deutsch

Copywriter: Fanny Josefson

Art Director: Ilana Wolstein

Executive Creative Director: Menno Kluin

Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat, Dan Kelleher

Digital Producer: Alisyn Trani

Design director: Brian Gartside

Developer: Marina Brodskaya

Chief Digital Officer: Winston Binch


Editor: Aaron Schillinger, Matt Mullen

Post Production / VFX

Producer: Francess Tom-Sahr


Voice-over: Phoebe Halkowich

Category: Charity , Corporate and social