Cannes Lions

Project Reinvent

FACEBOOK, New York / FACEBOOK / 2021

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Case Film
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Project Reinvent was a company-wide effort to turn the world's biggest economic setback into a moment for economic opportunity. A focused effort to put the capabilities of the Facebook platform to work for small businesses everywhere.

The brief came out of Facebook's core principles: at a time of physical distancing, how could social connections bring businesses and customers closer?

Our goal was to turn crisis into opportunity. By helping hundreds of thousands of businesses, especially the under-represented, make the transition to digital business and get ready for the future.


We would combat physical disconnection by making digital connections the superpower of every small business. From the start, our role was clear: this wasn't a campaign, it was a project in response to a crisis. A global project to help businesses recover, reimagine their marketing and reconnect with their customers.

Project Reinvent was an unprecedented effort that included financial support, free tools and education, and hundreds of hours of content.

The campaign had two complementary efforts, that connected consumers and businesses. Consumer marketing focused on rallying consumer support for SMBs while the business campaign focused on getting SMBs the free and paid tools they needed to survive during COVID. The campaign delivered practical inspiration and much-needed visibility, showcasing the ingenuity of a diverse range of businesses adapting to the new rules of business to find new ways to grow.


The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the pandemic might close down 40% of small businesses- who never come back. Of these, 83% are minority-owned. In this way, the global crisis would hurt those least prepared for it, and further marginalize them. Because small businesses form the bedrock of communities and the economy around the world, this was certain to have ripple effects beyond the local bakery or hardware store shutting down.

Independent studies showed that women and minority-owned businesses use the platform more than average and find it to be a critical competitive advantage. During this difficult year, we knew that only the digitally savvy would survive. So we set out to democratize the shift to digital and give as many businesses as possible their best shot at success.


Project Reinvent came to life from September-November 2020, across paid on-platform (FB and IG ads), off-platform (digital video, TV, OOH, podcast, radio, partnerships) and owned social channels for a truly integrated marketing approach with scaled reach. The creatives featured diverse business owners from our custom panel, and over-indexed on custom affinity groups such as Black, Hispanic and women-owned small businesses. In every region around the world, creative and channels were customized to reach under-represented groups and tell their stories.


The campaign reached 9.3M small and medium businesses across the world, and drove over 457,000 landing page visits.

We achieved a key business objective - expanding the base of small businesses using the platform for their business. The campaign actually did better with small businesses that were not as aware of or engaged with Facebook as a business platform, driving significantly higher rates of engagement, consideration and action, from 2.5X to 4X of benchmark.

The focus on providing practical help paid off, with messages centered around connecting with new customers using Facebook Tools standing out as top performers. Project Reinvent set out to inspire business owners and show them a new way to do business. The outcome we treasured most was businesses telling us that it made a difference, sparking hundreds of thousands of reinvention in the year ahead.

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