Snapchat: The Changing Face of the Most Influential Social Platform

15th Jul

How the little ghost and the big brands are making waves.


Gone are the days when Snapchat was no more than a multimedia messaging app for millennials to send short images and videos that disappeared in seconds. Today, Snapchat boasts incredible user statistics, challenging Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to the top spot for most influential social platform. Over 100 million people use Snapchat everyday, sharing over 10 billion videos alone. This is a jaw-dropping 350% increase from the last year and the popularity of Snapchat does not seem to be waning. Recognising their influence and huge reach, Snapchat has reinvigorated their approach to turn this phenomenon into cash.

At a time where social content platforms such as Instagram, make it difficult for brands to connect with their audience in a creative, non-restrictive way (non-clickable links and aesthetically bland advertising opportunities limit this massively), Snapchat have embraced companies that can afford to show off their brand in an innovative way. Here’s how they’re doing it:

Geo Filters

Geofilters are graphic overlays that are available to Snapchat users within specific locations. With over 800 million views a day, Geofilters have a huge reach. The feature allows brands to design and create their own filter that allow them to communicate with Snapchat users. These filters enable the user to interact whilst generating branded content that, down to the instant nature of the app, is immediately shareable.

Whereas more traditional forms of digital advertising such as banner ads can be ignored, Snapchat allows the user to interact with the advert and personalise it, resulting in a campaign that creates a significant impression.

We explored how a Snapchat Geofilter can enhance a brand event back in June, when The Flash Pack designed a bespoke Geofilter for the H&M SS16 Divided Festival collection marketing campaign. The Geofilter was actioned as a part of an H&M brand installation at Field Day 2016 and available to festival goers in the local area. The design of the filter was inspired by the theme of the brand experience, as well as the H&M Spring/Summer 2016 Divided collection.






Sponsored Lenses

Snapchat have taken their innovation of brand advertising even further with an interactive user experience that boasts incredible results. Snapchat sponsored lenses are a premium advertising opportunity that rely on the interaction of the user, making the experience fun and even more engaging. The real time special effects and sounds add to the playful feature, and sometimes, the weirder the graphics the more shareable the content is.

Taking around 6 weeks to create, lenses are designed inhouse by Snapchat’s creative team, using the assets supplied by the brand. This ensures the standard of the lens is up to scratch and that users don’t become inundated with lenses that are of poor quality and don’t work. It is essential to Snapchat that they are enhancing user experience, whilst catering to the needs of the brand.

It tends to be the most creative and funny lenses that are the most successful. Taco Bell’s sponsored lens transformed the face of the user into a huge Taco. The effect was so weird, that it achieved the most views of any sponsored lens.

The pay off for sponsored lenses is potentially huge. Not only does the user become engaged with your brand, but also the user’s audience does too. However, to have access to Snapchat’s young, engaged audience, you’ve got to pay for it. The cost for a 24 hour lens ranges from $450,000 - $750,000, so not exactly the cheapest form of digital advertising.

What does the future hold for Snapchat?

The platform regularly changes lenses and filters to keep content fresh and new. However, it is arguable that Snapchat may become oversaturated with advertising in the form of filters and lenses. This in turn, could have a negative effect on the number of engaged users, once the live special effects become tedious.

However, at the moment while users and engagement are at their highest, Snapchat is a useful and effective tool to extend a brand’s live presence into the digital landscape. It’s time to act now while Snapchat is at its influential peak. While we don’t recommend every brand spending $450,000 on a sponsored lens, it is possible to have a piece of the Snaphat phenomenon in the form of a beautifully designed Geofilter instead, which can also be hugely engaging.

Follow us on Snapchat: itstheflashpack and take a look at the H&M x Field Day marketing campaign here.