Advertising with Snapchat

20160826 Vimto toad snapchat filter

Read more about Snapchat ad options.

Advertising with Snapchat is becoming more popular with sponsored lens options and geofilters. Discover what these are with some approximate costs.

Snapchat sponsored lens

Snapchat sponsored lenses offer brands the unique opportunity to create an advert that consumers will enjoy interacting with and can send to others via the social media platform. Some of the biggest brands around the world are collaborating with Snapchat to produce their own sponsored lens, and have made them an integral part of their digital marketing strategy. Yet why are they proving to be so popular, how much do they cost, and do they have a long term future?

Many big name brands are creating their own lens

Advertisers and marketers working for big name brands are currently honing in on the potentially massive customer base a Snapchat sponsored lens could tap into. Pepsi Max was one of the first UK brands to create a Snapchat sponsored lens, when they offered users the chance to make a ‘Chelfie’ on Valentine’s Day this year. A can of Pepsi Max Cherry was poured into the mouths of users’ selfies whenever they moved, their heads turned into a giant cherry, and the animation finished with an explosion of the drink.

Cadbury’s Creme Egg sponsored lens also enjoyed enormous success earlier in the year at Easter. On 12th March, users could watch Creme Eggs flying from their own mouths and exploding to reveal the famous Creme Egg ‘Goo’. As part of their current #toadoff campaign to celebrate the launch of Vimto Remix, the soft drink brand’s sponsored lens transforms users into animated toads.

Extending reach using the Snapchat user base

With people sending the lenses to their friends and other Snapchat users, the potential increase in brand exposure and customer reach is attractive to marketers. For example, if major influencers such as celebrities share the lenses with their followers, the brand benefits from a massive amount of free exposure. Moreover, few other adverts enable the consumer to interact and engage with them in such a way, creating an enjoyable, unique experience that is completely personal to the individual.

How much does a sponsored lens cost?

Snapchat are keeping relatively quiet about how much they are charging for their sponsored lenses, yet according to Campaign, geographical restrictions, target audience and the day the advert is run are all factors that affect price. Business Insider UK say costs can range from $100,000 to $750,000, making it the most premium advertising product available from Snapchat.

Will sponsored lenses last?

However, whether sponsored lenses will maintain their popularity long term is questionable; only a select few of the many lenses produced so far have gone viral. What’s more is that advertisers have pointed out the difficulty in telling a story using a sponsored lens in the way other traditional advertising formats allow. Also, serious, high-end and luxury brands may struggle to create a lens that is fun and engaging. It therefore remains to be seen whether Snapchat’s sponsored lenses will stand the test of time.

Snapchat Geo filters

Snapchat’s surge in popularity among young people in the UK and around the globe has seen the corporate world make moves to take advantage of the platform’s unique characteristics in their online marketing strategies. The platform holder has been receptive to these advances by introducing on-demand, branded ‘geofilters’.
The geofilter feature has been popular with users of the platform since its introduction. Snaps taken via the platform can be overlaid with filters exclusively tied to places or locations. For example, users photographing the London Eye with Snapchat will get the opportunity to place a special London Eye geofilter over the snap that is only available to those in proximity to the Eye.

While undoubtedly a neat feature for the platform users, what makes it neater for the business world is the potential for this feature as part of social media marketing and digital strategy. After all, it’s thought that 60% of 13 to 34-year-old smartphone users in the UK today are using Snapchat regularly. As aforementioned, the potential in capturing this market isn’t lost on Snapchat.

Whilst previously free and not-for-profit, the platform first allowed branded geofilters in late 2015. KFC, which has enjoyed previous success with proximity mobile marketing, was the first major brand in the UK to use the service by allowing visitors to KFC chains to take snaps overlaid with branded Christmas messages.

Exclusive filters have even been created for films such as the latest in the Terminator franchise, with fans able to make themselves look like the Terminator – but, crucially, only if they attended participating cinemas to see the film.

The importance of photos and videos in today’s social media landscape is evidenced by the rise of platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. So with geofilters allowing for the creation of branded photographs that will be seen organically on Snapchat, the digital marketing potential is undeniable – particularly for businesses looking to run events tied to exclusive locations or times.

In terms of pricing, a day of coverage for a 20,000 square foot area in a UK city can be as low as approximately £10 – which should make geofilters a competitive tool in your digital marketing strategy.


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