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Invisible Flags

Finalist in Social Good Campaign, Social Activism, LGBTQ Community Engagement

Entered in Filter/Lens


Fifty cities across the United States have banned pride flags, making the community invisible. INNOCEAN USA became aware of these bans as they affected our headquarters’ community in Huntington Beach, CA. We continued to follow current events and saw that this was unfortunately an erasure of LGBTQ representation throughout the country. As an advertising agency, we were compelled to use our creative resources and funds to fight against the bans.


We used an augmented reality (AR) filter as a digital protest for the bans. ‘Invisible Flags’ allowed the community to plant flags that cannot be taken down. We partnered with the Gilbert Baker Foundation, an organization dedicated to advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community. The organization’s mission is to protect and extend the legacy of Gilbert Baker, the creator of the LGBTQ Rainbow Flag, as an activist, artist and educator.

We found that we shared their same goal–embrace the Rainbow Flag and all that it represents. With the support of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, we executed a digital protest throughout the United States. They were already tracking the series of flag bans in real time. We used their data, resources, and expertise to target affected communities of these bans.

We initially launched the AR filter on National Flag Day, June 14th. The AR filter launched on Instagram using the name and hashtag #SaveTheRainbowFlag. The Gilbert Baker Foundation launched the AR filter on their social channels first. We, INNOCEAN USA, also shared the ‘Invisible Flags’ on their social channels. To increase exposure, we shared the filter with our agency contacts, including our employees and community. We also approached celebrities and influencers who worked with our agency on previous client work.


The Invisible Flags initiative garnered over 10 million impressions. Many impressions came from our partnership with influencers, The Old Gays. The Old Gays’ audience consists of many members of the LGBTQ community and allies. The AR filter also gained the attention of interior designer and advocate Nate Berkus. He shared his support for our activism campaign via Instagram stories. 

Most importantly, the ‘Invisible Flags’ AR Filter proved to be an influential tool to fight against the flag bans. Our digital protest applied pressure on elected officials to reverse the ban in four major states–California, Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey.


Video for Invisible Flags

Entrant Company / Organization Name

INNOCEAN USA, Gilbert Baker Foundation


Entry Credits