Woman about to shave her head.

People come to Pinterest for possibilities—their next haircut, their first tattoo, dinner recipes their kids will actually eat—and to design all parts of their lives. While social networks are fueled by likes and living in the past, Pinterest is all about making plans, getting offline and trying things IRL.

84% of people on Pinterest say it helps them learn new things,1  and 70% of people search, save or click through on Pins to learn more.2  So we know they’re not just browsing—they’re ready to take action. And because our mission is to help people discover and do things they love, we’ve been launching new features like Lens beta and recipe search filters that make it even easier to make your next move and try something new.

But there’s one major barrier to trying new things, especially for women: that voice in your head that makes you doubt yourself. And that’s why our first ad campaign, launching today in the U.S., is all about putting self-doubt in its place and owning the best-case scenario. We want to bring possibilities to life through two simple words: What if.

What ifs in the wild

Our What if campaign focuses on vulnerable moments people face in their lives, from everyday to epic, when they’re just about to take a risk. The stakes can feel high any time you try something new, whether you’re wearing bold lipstick, ditching the conventional wedding or breaking free from gender norms. We want to show the transformative power of reimagining risks as possibilities.

Our in-house creative team worked alongside advertising icon and writer Janet Champ. Janet was the perfect spirit guide and creative consultant for this campaign—she has a long history of work on progressive campaigns for women, like Nike’s “If You Let Me Play.” Her work is all about pushing past barriers to reveal your true potential—kindred spirits with our focus on possibilities.

In every ad, we’re showing real people, not models—Pinterest employees and close friends—to keep it feeling grounded, relatable and true to the real-life spirit of what if.

You’ll also notice that we intentionally didn’t focus on outcomes, since achieving a perfect end result is far less important to us than taking a chance and trying something new.

Look ma, we’re in Times Square!

We worked with media agency Giant Spoon, and starting today you’ll see our first out of home ads peppered throughout New York City. We’ll also be running static and video postings on social.

Meanwhile in the coming months, we’ll be partnering with Mic and The New York Times, and we’re busy planning a few events, special guests and surprises for later this fall. Stay tuned for lots more what if moments ahead.

—Mac Huynh, currently saving ideas to Power women

  • 1Pinterest, consumer study, 2016
  • 2Pinterest, activity analysis, 2015