A relative newcomer to the word of social media apps, platforms, and networks, Snapchat has quickly become a mainstay among teenagers and millennial audiences. According to Snapchat’s own demographic research, more than 60% of American 13- to 34-year-olds use the app, with the majority of users falling in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic—a highly-coveted age range for brands and marketers. The app also boasts over 100 million daily active users who watch an estimated 8 billion “Snaps” each and every day.
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It should be no surprise, then, that marketers, brands, and major publishers have started leveraging Snapchat’s most popular features (like Stories, which allows users to stitch Snaps together to create a daily narrative) to promote upcoming events, show behind-the-scenes footage, or partner with top social media influencers for Snapchat Takeovers or other influencer marketing collaborations.
To help companies understand Snapchat’s role in today’s every-expanding social media marketing landscape, we’ve compiled some of the most useful coverage on brands using Snapchat marketing to effectively reach and engage new audiences. See the following articles to learn how the world’s top brands have been using Snapchat marketing to drive user engagement and increase brand awareness.
Groupon uses daily challenges to promote social engagement. For example, the brand awards special deals to the first person to see or take a screenshot of a particular Snap (Adweek).
Sprite invited Brazilian Snapchat users to submit their personal account QR codes for a chance to have their code printed on millions of Sprite cans. The campaign, called RFRSH Na Lata (“fresh on the can”), was promoted through online videos (Adweek).
Cinnabon asked Snapchatters Danny Berk and Evan Garber to host a Snapchat Takeover of the brand’s account. The duo, who composed a 2-minute Snapchat Story and asked fans to submit photos of their favorite sweet, helped Cinnabon gain 2,000 new Snapchat followers (Adweek).
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To capitalize on the buzz surrounding the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the brand leveraged Snapchat Discover to generate roughly 340 million impressions from Snapchat users before and during the event (Adweek).
Sony Pictures became the first brand to purchase a Snapchat Discover ad when it did so to promote the upcoming film, James Bond: Spectre. The campaign featured 14 photos and behind-the-scenes videos from the movie (Adweek).
To promote the brand’s new Apple bourbon, Jim Beam purchased video ads within a variety of Live Stories, including those for Labor Day and Oktoberfest. At the time of the campaign, Nielsen reported that 82% of Snapchat users were over the age of 21 (Adweek).
Anheuser-Busch, maker of Bud Light, took advantage of Snapchat Stories by purchasing advertisements (i.e. branded Snaps) during the Story for the Whatever, USA, event at Catalina Island (Adweek).
The non-profit took advantage of the ephemeral nature of Snapchat marketing with their #LastSelfie campaign. WWF smartly snapped out images of endangered species to promote their environmental protection message (Convince and Convert).
To add to the excitement and awareness surrounding the league’s Most Valuable Player award, NBA leveraged the Snapchat Stories feature and posted live updates of the event (Convince and Convert).
This online food ordering company is using Snapchat to find an intern with “Snapchat Skillz.” With six images on their Snapchat Story, they explain how interested candidates can apply and send them their best doodle (Convince and Convert).
German car company Audi partnered with American satire publication The Onion to snap humorous images and captions during the Super Bowl (Convince and Convert).
The cosmetic company uses Snapchat to promote and release an exclusive preview of its Guy Bourdin color cosmetics collection, using the chat feature for surprise celebrity chats and exclusive behind-the-scenes content (Convince and Convert).
As part of the QSR’s “Choose Lovin’” campaign, McDonald’s created a 15-second animated video clip showing how the brand can make even mortal enemies—Batman & the Joker—make peace. McDonald’s has also enlisted NBA star Lebron James to take over the restaurant’s Snapchat account (Digiday).
To promote the upcoming horror film “Ouija,” Universal Pictures allowed Snapchat users to access a 20-second trailer on the app’s “Recent Updates” section. This campaign was notable because it was the branded content was clearly labeled “sponsored”—a precursor for things to come (Digiday).
Samsung leveraged the popularity of the American Music Awards to reach Snapchat’s large, millennial audiences. The AMA’s Live Story was sponsored by Samsung, and the tech company interspersed branded content through the user-generated Snaps (Digiday).
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In addition to sponsoring the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, retailer Macy’s also integrated branded content into the event’s Live Story section in Snapchat (Digiday).
The candy brand gave Viner Logan Paul control of their account. The company’s pre-existing followers were treated to Paul’s creative snaps, and Paul’s devotees viewed his branded snaps and were reminded of the Sour Patch Kids brand in the process (EConsultancy).
The beer company snapped clues to a surprise show at the Coachella music festival. If users snapped back with the right band or artist, they got an early confirmation of an act at the Heineken House, Heineken’s sponsored stage (EConsultancy).
Given the hashtag #CKMeforME, this campaign aimed to increase engagement with Millennials by featuring celebrity Snapchat selfies then asking users to publish similar creations (EConsultancy).
The fashion retailer promoted an exclusive part named the Boiler Room and hid various tickets in stores. Users then had to use cryptic Snapchat clues in order to find the tickets (EConsultancy).
The brand launched its Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos with a 6 minute mini Snapchat movie, featuring the MTV Movie Awards (Fast Company).
Snaps of Buzz Aldrin and GE contributions to the 1969 moon landing gave younger audiences a sense of the company’s history (Fast Company).
The first 100 followers of their Snapchat got exclusive footage of their NSX prototype in action (Fast Company).
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This fashion label debuted their 2014 Spring Collection on Snapchat right before it hit the runway during New York Fashion Week (Fast Company).
Features real-time content on their Snapchat Story of big contests and surfing stars (Fast Company).
The fashion company gave fans real insight into their brand by showing sneak peeks of collections, looks into the office, and more on their Snapchat (Fast Company).
AT&T created a scripted series, called “SnapperHero,” that would be available only on Snapchat and only to those who follow the brand. The show was rumored to star top YouTubers, Viners, and Instagrammers like Freddie Wong and Anna Akana (AdAge).
Red Bull helped Snapchat users ring in the start of summer 2016 by releasing sponsored filters that prompted Snapchatters to share how they were celebrating the season. The filter read “seize the sun, the time is…” to promote Red Bull’s newest summer edition flavor (Mobile Marketer).
Wet Seal not only had behind the scenes footage and promotional codes, it also partnered with beauty blogger MissMeghanMakeup as she took over their Snapchat (ReelSEO).
Following the success of the brand’s “Baby and Me” campaign, Evian took to Snapchat to offer teaser footage of new baby-related marketing spots (The Drum).
EA sports released a Snapchat Live story to cover it’s annual Madden Bowl, the culmination of a season-long online football tournament. With custom filters and appearances from Snapchat star DJ Khaled, the story had no shortage of entertainment (Marketing Land).
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With daily art-inspired memes, LACMA utilizes its Snapchat to provide a modern, light-hearted perspective on its Renaissance art (Huffington Post).
MTV launched its official Snapchat Discover channel this year to adapt to the shifting viewing habits of its young audience. With the development of organic content for the app such as the revival of MTV cribs, the entertainment channel looks to leverage Snapchat’s large user base to cultivate new viewership (Variety).
With live stories and sponsored lenses, Mountain Dew made Snapchat an integral aspect of its marketing strategy. It became one of the first brands to utilize Snapchat’s animated selfie lens function and continues to update its Snapchat account with daily content to engage a millennial audience (The Drum).
Bloomingdale’s initiated its Snapchat efforts in the fall of 2016 to cover New York’s Fashion week. Recently, the department began to ramp up its Snapchat efforts by testing original brand content for the platform such as sponsored filters, model Takeovers and product announcements, and more (Digiday).
The all-day breakfast American mainstay looked to bring new customers to its chain of restaurants by releasing unique and customizable Snapchat filters. This year it launched its “Breakfast Name Maker” campaign, a series of filters that allowed viewers to turn their names into breakfast-themed monikers to promote IHOP’s Double-Dipped French Toast (Adweek).
SweeTARTS revitalized its millennial marketing efforts this year by utilizing Snapchat as its primary platform for their newest ‘Follow Your Tart’ ad campaign. By providing daily Snapchat content with limited-edition candy offerings and influencer Takeovers to cover events such as Vidcon, the initiative looks to inspire consumers to follow their passions and eat SweeTARTS (Yahoo).
The hit television drama generated excitement for upcoming episodes by offering fans sneak-peeks of new footage and behind-the-scenes looks at the set and actors (ReelSEO).
To target football fans, Chobani developed a 10-second piece of content that appeared on the College Game Day Live Story. Chobani is extremely active on Snapchat, and uses the platform to generate excitement for new flavors and give followers a behind-the-scenes look at festivals and events (AdAge).
To reach Millennials, Condé Nast sprinkled sponsored Snaps throughout Live Stories from big events like the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party and the Vanity Fair Oscar Party (AdAge).
As part of the brand’s “Self-Esteem Weekend” campaign, Dove invited followers to share their insecurities via Snapchat Snaps (which would, in turn, disappear). Dove also appointed a number of “self-esteem ambassadors” to personally respond to followers’ Snaps and provide immediate feedback (AdAge).
Toyota used geo-targeting technology to create and publish city-specific Snapchat ads as part of the brand’s “Let’s Go Places” marketing campaign (AdAge).
Eyewear maker Warby Parker engaged audiences by sharing intimate clips of their New York City offices and looks at new and upcoming styles. The brand also cross-promotes their Snapchat account and content on Instagram and Facebook (Pace).
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The innovative hospitality chain engaged patrons by offering Starwood-branded geofilters at over 600 hotels throughout the United States, the United Kingdon, and Canada (Digiday).
The MLS is the latest professional sports organization to leverage Snapchat’s unique capabilities to interact with sports fans in the authentic manner they desire. It promoted the 2015 MLS all-star game by providing fans with a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite players’ match-day preparations (Simply Measured).
America’s premier baseball Association, the MLB, created a unique Snapchat experience for its fans by transforming the baseball bat into a selfie stick it called the SnapBat. The SnapBat was handed out at All-Star weekend last year to allow the league’s best players to snap selfies together and promote the star-studded event over the ephemeral photo-sharing platform (PetaPixel).
Snapchat’s face swap feature is one of the hottest social media trends of 2016. Netflix leveraged the popularity of this unique lens to build an ad campaign in France that allows users to swap faces with their favorite Netflix stars (Adweek).
First-time millennial home buyers are turning to Lowe’s Snapchat to be their virtual handyman. It’s “In-a-Snap” Snapchat series aides homeowners with home improvement projects by providing click-thru tutorials, suggestions, and tips (Wall Street Journal).
To leverage the engaging, storytelling nature of Snapchat, apparel brand MeUndies produced original TV-like sketches starring some of the platform’s biggest stars. Each “spot” typically consists of 15–20 snaps and features a link where audiences can go to buy MeUndies products (Digiday).
Forward-thinking air carrier Virgin created its own branded geofilter—which appears as a purple-hued window (reminiscent of a popular feature on Virgin’s planes)—to “make flying fun again.” The filter is available at airports in Denver, New York (J.F.K.), Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle (USA Today).
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