It has been a busy month for Snapchat. It announced the launch of its premium content channel Discover, released its first web series on its own curated channel, and were active during the Super Bowl, too. While we didn’t see as many brands creating content in real time on Snapchat as they were on some other platforms, the work that was shared was refreshing and unique.
I took a look at some of the content that brands were producing:
Snapchat: The Company
At many other events before this one, Snapchat has curated related real-time images and videos from users around the area. This time, it actually stayed away from the stories feed in favor of the new Discover feature, which is a smart move. Why launch a new product and abandon it during one of the biggest sporting events?
The company had some great original content on its own Snapchat Discover Channel that tied perfectly into the big game.
A poem from Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was made into a short film called “Where We Dwell,” and the company released a fun infographic-laden Super Bowl cheat sheet with some fun facts to help even the most football-illiterate nail the sports talk at whatever party they’re attending.
Mountain Dew used some of Snapchat’s social influencers to promote the launch of new flavors of its Kickstart Morning Drink. The day before the Super Bowl, it launched Kickstory, a real-time, “fan-driven,” Snapchat story featuring web celebrities Jerry Purpdrank and D-Trix, with extra content posted across Vine, YouTube and Twitter.
The best part about Kickstory wasn’t just that it was cool content from the Super Bowl; it was 100% interactive.
Fans were encouraged to vote for what happened next in the story by doing things like taking screenshots to indicate their engagement.
Since the story was done before the Super Bowl, the last snap expired just before the kickoff.
The takeaway here is multiple, open-ended story lines rule, especially when combined with influencers, a live event and Snapchat. Our hats go off to Mountain Dew for using Snapchat in a very interactive way.
No stranger to Snapchat, GrubHub has been on the platform since 2013, sharing photos, videos, coupon codes and more for its audience.
For the Super Bowl, GrubHub did two different Snapchat stories, but it was the story on Sunday that stood out. Call it a Snap-o-graphic, if you will. The company shared facts about chicken wing consumption during Super Bowl Sunday across a series of nine Snapchat illustrations.
GrubHub’s creations are made by Michael Platco (mplatco), who is an influential Snapchat artist in his own right.
When McDonald’s announced its “Pay With Lovin” promotion this week, the media ate it right up like a Big Mac. It’s a beautiful concept, and the advertisement it launched is definitely a tear-jerker.
During the Super Bowl, McDonald’s took their “lovin’” idea to the next level. Aside from its various commercials, it was a live-tweeting machine, using Twitter Cards to tweet other brands “lovin”” their spots, and giving people the chance to RT their “lovin’” messages to win cards, video games, movie tickets and more.
On Snapchat, the company extended its campaign messaging with a post during the game.
The short spot showed three friends on the couch watching football and reflecting on the Pay With Lovin’ promotion. The creative seemed to match what most of McDonald’s audience might be doing at that moment… sitting on their couch.
In fact, McDonald’s may have been the only advertiser to synchronize its Super Bowl TV and Twitter ads with its Snapchat content during the game.
Pitch Perfect 2
The sequel to the Universal movie Pitch Perfect successfully made history by being the first advertiser to directly reference Snapchat in its ad, featuring the Snapchat ghost logo and the movie’s handle at the end.
The company also opened up a Tumblr page to collect all the Snaps from the movie, a tactic that is becoming more common from brands looking to get more longevity from their Snapchat content.
The entertainment industry is already hot for Snapchat, with many movie studios, TV shows and entertainment brands using the platform already to drive awareness around upcoming releases. NBC’s The Voice, ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, and HBO’s Girls are just three examples of this trend.
Recent research from Snapchat and Millward Brown has shown that the early Snapchat ads (which were also focused on movies) were positively received — 60% of users surveyed liked “Our Stories” and 44% liked “Brand Stories.” The results bode well for the future of brand involvement on the platform.
According to Doug Neil, EVP of digital marketing at NBCUniversal:
Snapchat’s platform was a key component for our marketing for those films [Ouija and Dumb and Dumber To]. As a new platform, we had to understand its power in terms of driving both awareness and action.
Bottom Line: This Was A Watershed Moment For Snapchat
Being mentioned on the Super Bowl is a big deal for any social network, and I expect you’ll start to see more Snapchat mentions — just like you saw Twitter and Facebook logos break into the ends of ads.
Overall, Snapchat is still a young platform, but it’s already one of the most active social platforms. According to a The Verge article from May 2014, users were then sharing upwards of 700 Million photos daily, and it was the #3 free app downloaded from the Apple App Store in 2014. Despite that, many brands haven’t found the right way to enter.
“When it comes to new platform adoption by brands or media companies, it’s important to gain a complete understanding of how this new ecosystem truly works for your brand goals. Snapchat is still foreign to many brands, and they may not yet be fully equipped to understand the approaches they need to take in order to maximize their audience effectiveness with the platform,” said Jesse Redniss, co-founder of BRaVe Ventures, said in response to my inquiry about Snapchat.
MRY’s CMO David Berkowitz echoed Redniss’ sentiment in his own exchange with me:
The biggest barrier for marketers though is that most haven’t used it themselves. Don’t forget though that Facebook, Twitter, and even Google had that problem in earlier years. That will change for Snapchat too.
So, how can brands start thinking about a new platform like Snapchat?
“A great first step in understanding how to approach new platforms like Snapchat is to map what you are looking to achieve first, get on the platform and start observing. Learn the lay of the land,” Redniss suggested.
Cyrene Quiamco, better known as CyreneQ on Snapchat, is one of the platform’s early stars and has worked with brands like Marvel and NBC’s The Voice. She told me that she advises brands getting into Snapchat to consider the experience before repurposing the same old content.
“I personally want to see more cross media campaigns where we take traditional [TV] commercials and continue the conversation by adding our own spin,” Quiamco added. “It makes advertising more memorable and personal.”