Last updated: April 7, 2019.
Snapchat is blowing up right now. Don’t believe the press – their users still love the platform. They have over 180 million daily active users. And these users are HIGHLY engaged. Most users consume every post they see. Snap also announced that their average user spends 25-30 minutes on the app every day. And they command 41% of the coveted 18-34 age demographic.
Humans only have enough time to dedicate to 5-7 apps a day, and Snapchat is quickly rising to the top. To stand out on Snap, you must be fun, creative, and engaging. To help get you started, here are 22 creative Snapchat campaigns from different brands to inspire your strategy! Want to get started with Snap Ads? Contact us today!
1. Taco Bell – Cinco de Mayo
Taco Bell got a lot of press when they created a filter for Cinco de Mayo. Here’s what that looked like:
The filter performed extremely well. It was viewed 224 Million times. That’s an absolutely incredible number. They paid an estimated $750,000 for 24 hours of that filter. That works out to be 0.3 cents per view. Not three cents. Three tenths of one cent! That’s insane. It paid off though. People thoroughly enjoyed playing with the filter and it surely helped increase Taco Bell’s sales.
2. Shazam! – Movie promotion with first ever voice-activated AR lens
Shazam pulled out all the stops with this epic campaign. To help launch their new movie, Warner Bros. partnered with Snapchat to create the first-ever voice-activated augmented reality lens.
You had to scan the snapcode and then say “Ok, Shazam!”. Then a lightning bolt and smoke would appear over you and you’d be wearing the Shazam costume. Very cool, and incredible for engagement.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse – Movie Promotion
X-Men did a massive takeover on May 23, to help promote the release of the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie. They didn’t just create one sponsored filter, they created ALL of them. Every filter, for the entire day on Snapchat, was related to X-Men. Analytics have not been released yet, but if their numbers mirror those of Taco Bell, they would have received around 1.5 Billion views!
4. Sphero from Star Wars – Toy Launch
Star Wars utilized influencers on Snapchat to promote their new toy, Sphero, during the holiday season. One of the influencers they worked with, Shaun McBride, gets 2 million Snapchat views every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the toy sold out in a matter of hours and their campaign got 10 million views. Check out one of their stories here:
Working with influencers on Snapchat is a must. They know their followers best and can often help your brand create fun, engaging content that delivers results.
5. Terminator: Genisys – Movie Promotion
To promote the release of the new Terminator movie last year, a custom filter was created. Users were able to overlay the filter onto themselves or their pets. Smartly, Arnold Schwarzenegger also promoted this on Facebook. His Facebook post about the custom Snapchat filter received 3,000 shares and 55,000 likes. Cross-promoting onto other platforms is a good way to increase your organic reach with not much extra effort.
6. The MTV VMAs – Behind the Scenes
During the 2015 VMAs, MTV did a Live Story on Snapchat. This allowed anyone in the area to post pictures and videos to that Live Story, for all to see. Celebrities and audience members shared hilarious behind-the-scenes footage onto the story. About 10 million people tuned in to watch the VMAs on TV, and about 12 million people viewed the story on Snapchat! And at a much cheaper production cost.
7. Mondelez – A Candy Competition
Mondelez makes delectable candy bars. To increase brand awareness and sales, they created a competition on Snapchat. To enter the contest you had to snap a photo of their chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat’s drawing tools, and send it to the TIMEOUTAU Snapchat account. The winner of the competition won $10,000! Mondelez also showcased some of the best creations on a website. Mondelez’s idea to create a microsite to enhance the competition was a great way to increase awareness and increase customer loyalty (and product sales).
8. GrubHub – Hiring
GrubHub is a cool online food ordering company. They used Snapchat to look for an intern with “Snapchat Skillz”. They used the image sequence below to recruit applicants to grow their company. Very creative!
9. World Wildlife Fund – #LastSelfie
The World Wildlife Fund used a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about different endangered species. They came up with the creative #LastSelfie hashtag campaign that also allowed them to promote the cause on other social platforms. Check out the video here:
10. DJ Khaled – Snapchat All-Star
DJ Khaled is a Snapchat all-star. He’s not your typical brand, but he is increasing his celebrity presence on Snapchat, and brands can learn A TON from what he’s doing on the platform. His snaps are attracting 3-4 million viewers each. He has coined some fun mantras like “bless up” and “keys to wisdom”. His content is extremely shareable. Check out a compilation here:
11. Burberry – Spring Sneak Peak
To create some extra hype for their Spring 2016 Fashion Show, Burberry revealed their newest line of clothes through a series of snaps. They also produced pictures and videos featuring their designers and models. They also live-snapped the actual show, piggybacking off the hype they previously created.
12. Major League Soccer – Player Takeovers
MLS dedicated an entire week to Snapchat takeovers. A “takeover” is when someone else takes over and runs your Snapchat account. So each day, MLS handed over their account to a new soccer star. The stars promoted this on their own accounts leading up to their turn, and then created fun, engaging content on the MLS account on their day. Takeovers are a great way to build your Snapchat following.
13. Target – Holiday Geofilters
Target has been using geofilters around different holiday events. They target these geofilters around their physical stores to help increase brand awareness and sales. This is an easy, fun campaign idea that any brand can use to succeed on Snapchat.
14. Chubbies Shorts – Behind the Scenes
Chubbies Shorts is one of the most engaging brands on Snapchat (and all of social media and email, really). They constantly make me laugh out loud. They have an ongoing Behind the Scenes type campaign going. They mix in giveaways, stop motion, jokes, pranks, and more. They show how to effectively make content fun and memorable on a consistent basis. Check them out!
15. Rocky Horror Picture Show
Fox recently did a remake of the classic, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Fox partnered with Snapchat to create a trio of Snapcode activations that went live during the telecast. This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. The two companies partnered directly on this project. Fox ran Snap ads and a custom lens leading up to the telecast, and then offered more on the day of. Take a look below…
16. Netflix and Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is launching four new episodes exclusively on Netflix in a few weeks. To build awareness for the launch, Netflix printed cups from the show’s fictional “Luke’s Diner” and distributed a total of 10,000 cups to a group of 200 coffee shops around the country. Each cup had a snap code which would pull up the image below when scanned.
The logistics behind a campaign like this can be complicated, but there are great lessons to learn here. A campaign with a smaller budget can still produce similar results with targeted geofilters around brick and mortar locations.
17. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad
Budweiser, always on the cutting edge when it comes to advertising, launched a Snapchat advertising campaign for the 24 hours leading up to the Super Bowl. The Snap Ad was an actual mini-football game you could play within Snapchat, letting you run different plays using clever, on-brand names. If you won, you unlocked an exclusive filter to use.
This level of innovation and ingenuity isn’t possible for all brands, but if you have the budget for this type of advertising, it is incredibly effective. See more here.
18. Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms just ran this Snap Ad campaign during The Bachelor episode on Snapchat Discover. It was a short video ad that showed a woman fall in love with a man based on a relationship of Lucky Charms. Very on-brand, and very targeted placement as well.
A great example of how to do effective marketing on Snapchat.
Walmart ran this campaign leading up to Easter to promote its festive treats. Take a look at the fun screenshots below!
20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical
This is an innovative new Snapchat marketing campaign we haven’t seen before. Below is a screenshot from the Facebook page of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical. They have “hidden” Snapchat geofilters all over New York City. If you find them and send the account a snap, you can win free tickets, swag, and more. Fantastic idea!
Equinox is a high-end gym with locations all over the country. Below is a screenshot of a Snapchat geofilter they are running at their competitors’ locations (this one is at a 24 Hour Fitness). Fantastic idea here. Hat tip to Ryan Hoover on Twitter for catching this one.
22. Gatorade’s #GatoradeDunk Lens
During Super Bowl 50, Gatorade created a customized sponsored Snapchat lens aimed at football fans. The “#GatoradeDunk” lens allowed users to simulate being “dunked” with their drink. Gatorade promoted the lens using an ad starring Serena Williams – one of the company’s sponsored athletes.
The campaign performed very well, getting more than 100 million views over Super Bowl weekend, and 170 million total.
23. Stranger Things Season 2 by Netflix
Netflix went all out to promote Season 2 of Stranger Things on Snapchat, starting with this epic world lens (see below).
Here’s the kicker though – to unlock this unique lens, you had to either use a special Snapcode (see below) or Shazam in Snapchat whenever you hear the Stranger Things theme song (for instance, while watching the season 2 opening credits).
They also had an “Eleven face” filter available to everyone. Check it out here:
24. Air Jordan E-commerce Campaign
The latest campaign on Snapchat focused on a life-size Michael Jordan augmented-reality lens promoting the new, unreleased Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers, which went on sale exclusively via a special QR code within the app. This occurred during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
“What we launched with Snapchat and the Jordan Brand was a preview of what will become a paradigm,” said Lee Hnetinka, CEO of Darkstore. “Imagine an ad on a bus stop with a Snapcode or a Snapcode on an advertisement or next to a product in a store, and it is delivered within hours. That’s what Snapchat enables.”
When the user scanned the snapcode or used the filter, they were taken to the e-commerce experience below, within the Snapchat app. They were able to fully purchase the shoes and checkout inside of Snapchat.
How did the campaign perform? The sneakers sold out in 23 minutes. The special world lens averaged more than 80 seconds of play time per user, compared with a national average play time of 15 to 20 seconds for sponsored lenses.