Conversation SnapChat.

Smartphone communication possibilities are seemingly endless with emails; text messages; a plethora of group chat applications like Viber; photo messages via Instagram; Facebook messenger; and now SnapChat. Although not social media in the strictest sense, SnapChat is changing the face of ‘social’ as we know it. Advertisers should get excited – there are over 26 million users sending more than 350 million photos a day. It’s technological, it’s communication on a mass scale, it’s fast paced and it requires a miniscule attention span.


SnapChat is centred on sharing images or video content with ease. You’re in message-sending mode as soon as you open the app because the phone’s camera is already on. You set the viewing duration (between one and ten seconds) and pick which friend(s) you send the image to. And voila, a photo or video message sent in seconds. SnapChat offers a new level of control. The user can adapt their ‘online-self’ as they please because the material, once viewed, is ‘gone forever’. This of course differs from platforms such as Facebook where each post or share involves serious consideration due to the contents’ permanent nature. A static online profile means the user must decide if the material shared is congruent with both their social and public self.


SnapChat is a viable option for creating a two-way conversation, particularly with a younger demographic. It allows for personal connections (something Facebook and Twitter do not) with brands because each image or video shared is viewed individually and users have to hold their finger to the screen to view content so pay close attention to it. Therefore as advertisers why wouldn’t we consider tapping into this platform? If you are looking to target a new audience, drive sales or just add some variety to your social strategy, Snap Chat shouldn’t be overlooked. The following examples illustrate how certain brands have begun to successfully incorporate SnapChat into their marketing mix.

Offering Exclusive Perks

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Fast Food Chain Taco Bell effectively used its presence in a number of social media channels to spread its SnapChat user name. It promised new connections a ‘secret announcement’, which turned out to be the return of the popular Beefy Crunch Burrito. Since then, the brand has said to be ‘blown away’ by user response. Taco Bell’s Director of Social and Digital explained their presence on SnapChat is “all about treating them [their fans] like personal friends and not consumers.”

Rewarding Engaged Consumers/Discounts

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16 Handles, a frozen yoghurt chain based in New York started using SnapChat to connect with their customer base. To participate, customers would send a SnapChat image of themselves tasting yogurt onsite to the company’s SnapChat account. Then, 16 Handles would automatically send a SnapChat image of a coupon back to their account. Finally, the customer would have to wait to open the snap containing the coupon until they were at the register and ready to redeem it, because when the image was opened, it would automatically delete itself 10 seconds later. Although this is not a conventional nor tangible way to provide a customer with a voucher, Jarrod Walpert, Director of Marketing for 16 Handles describes this approach and strategy as novel. “Our core user is a SnapChat user. And luckily for us, our core users are all about using SnapChat to save a few bucks on a tasty treat”. This campaign engaged more than 1,400 customers and was a refreshing way to drive potential customers in-store.


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30 Seconds to Mars released its new album recently, and to celebrate the band announced a unique promotion that utilised SnapChat, targeting their NZ fans. Followers were told to look out for snaps featuring exclusive photos from the band’s personal collection. Each photo featured a number. Ten numbers were sent in total. Users were told to write down each number as they collected them. The First Prize winner (who would win a trip to Sydney to meet the band in person and see them play live) was the first to tweet the correct total. Here the fans enjoyed a new level of connection with the band.


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MTV UK used SnapChat to promote the sixth season of its show Geordie Shore, the British take on Jersey Shore. The television network sent snaps of exclusive footage of the cast before the show’s premiere, as well as snaps reminding fans to tune in.

Insider Marketing/Behind the Scenes

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At the 2013 New York Fashion Week, clothing brand Rebecca Minkoff used SnapChat to debut its Spring 2014 collection just moments before it appeared on the runway. This gave the everyday customer the opportunity to be part of the Fashion Week experience without being physically present. Other brands have since followed suit with Juicy Couture starting to utilise SnapChat to preview collections and photo shoots.

SnapChat provides a plethora of creative opportunities for advertisers, however in order for it to be a successful tool, you first need to build a loyal user base and engage your audience. This will encourage users to actively seek ways to add you to their friends list. Brands winning on SnapChat are being creative with the content they share and are using the app to complement their brand’s social media personality. Become part of the conversation; get your brand on SnapChat.

Author: Allie Buczkowski (Account Manager) & Lauren Watling (TV Producer)