Venables Bell & Partners and Firstborn really want you to stop touching your face.


By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

To help combat the COVID-19 crisis, Venables Bell & Partners and digital agency Firstborn have partnered to launch a new effort called Facejar – a virtual face-touching “swear jar” that lets people turn accidental beard rubs, eye itches and nose picks during video meetings into money for protective equipment for medical professionals. The concept is simple: touch your face, donate a dollar. 

The idea originated with VB&P ACD Elliot Nordstrom, who noticed that despite pleas from the medical community, we are all still touching our faces. And nowhere is this bad habit more apparent than during video conference meetings. 

Facejar uses a custom Snap Cam lens developed by Firstborn to register and count face touches during video meetings on a number of platforms, including Zoom*, Skype, Google Hangouts, Twitch and Microsoft Teams. After a meeting is over, users can complete the donation by scanning a QR code to donate on Venmo. All proceeds will go to #GetUsPPE, a grassroots organization dedicated to getting personal protective equipment to healthcare workers on the frontlines.

(Note: unfortunately Zoom’s latest, recent update for Mac doesn’t work with Snap Camera. Zoom is currently working to fix the problem. But for now, Facejar only works with older versions on Mac.)

The campaign will be supported by an online video and social content created by “undercover recordings” of video calls and meetings. The video was produced by VB&P’s Lumberyard Productions. The soundtrack is a custom track written by Lumberyard Creative Director Tyler Hampton and recorded by friends of the agency, Reed Campbell and Ana Marcu.


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