OMD UK meets Snapchat

On Monday afternoon we had what was the first ever presentation to an agency outside of the US from Snapchat, as they have now appointed their UK Sales Director Jonathan Davies, formally Brand Partnerships Director at BuzzFeed. So hot off the press, Chris Knight and Bridget Bucknell-Whalley discuss the key outtakes from the brilliant session. 

Globally, Snapchat now has over 100 million daily active users, with over 6 million video views per day. In the UK these figure equate to 60% of all smartphone users between 13-24 using Snapchat, with 75% of users being 18+. Surprisingly Snapchat’s fastest growing UK age segment is 25-34.

In terms of the platform itself, Snapchat has positioned themselves in two ways. Firstly lets address the comms; this is where the user swipes right to access the communication part of Snapchat which is where friends typically interact with one another sending and receiving snaps. The reason why Snapchat consider their platform so successful is that content creation happens in the same place as the content consumption. At the heart of their success is the fact that the app utilises the user’s camera to create content.

The second aspect of their business is content. When the user swipes left to unlock the content arm, they can engage with their friends’ stories and discover content from publishers.

A key USP of Snapchat is that, by default, the content always deletes itself after 24 hours which, in their opinion, means tech should enable human experiences, not limit them. This feature plays on the human behaviour of writing notes, which are typically forgotten soon after writing; so why would tech be any different?

So how does Snapchat commercialise these offerings?

Discover bespoke channels: This is the second new form of advertising to appear on Snapchat last week. Sony Pictures also used Snapchat to feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and crew interviews for the new James Bond movie “Spectre.”

On this principle, Snapchat offers key brand opportunities such as daily takeovers like Spectre, and more typically event-based stories such as geo-fencing a football game and serving users all content from a set location.

Paid-for filters – e.g. localised filter when nearby an area or event. This works by Snapchat geo-fencing a set location, and serving users with a geo-filter ad when they take snaps in these locations. A key feature is that users can opt out of sending and sharing these with their snap, however Snapchat has strict creative guidelines for this feature, which in turn means users actually love the creative interaction with the brand. I for one have experienced an Apple Music filter previously which called out a cool music event which was happening nearby.

Paid for lenses – 20th Century Fox was the first advertiser to buy the app’s Sponsored Lens format to promote The Peanuts Movie, which premiered on the 6th November in the USA. Snapchat users using the Lens feature for selfies on Saturday had the option of a filter that would add Peanuts characters to the image.

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Chris Knight

Chris is OMD UK’s Mobile and Tech Futures Manager

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