Messenger App Launch



Facebook wanted to break into the Latin American market of Mexico. Small Town Boy was a social experiment in which a boy who’d never left his hometown travelled around Mexico using the Messenger app. By inviting the people of Mexico to participate in deciding the course of his journey, we proved that Messenger could bring people closer together both online and in real life.


Facebook was having difficulty breaking into Mexico. Higher data costs, limited technological access, lower education, and a highly competitive market meant Mexican consumers needed some convincing to adopt the Messenger app.


The journey began on Facebook, where millions of strangers were invited to decide where Cris would go and what he should do. People were hooked. We sparked engagement on the Facebook newsfeed, a campaign profile page, and Messenger. Cris was constantly in touch, while a community management team helped respond and reply in real time. With these recommendations, we created real-time content and demonstrated the value of the Messenger app as a way to create connections.


  • Total reach for the campaign: 200 million, for a total of 257 million impressions.
  • More than 4.7 million Mexican fans engaged directly with our social experiment.
  • 62% of people who saw the ad felt Messenger allowed them to connect instantly with friends.
  • Click through rate increased by 250%.
  • App downloads and installs increased more than twofold while media cost-per-conversion decreased by 40%.