Snapchat is the hottest advertising ticket right now. With 150 million daily users, they reach 41% of consumers 18-34 in the US. And, just in time for Cannes, they unveiled a new advertising strategy last week, including an API that will allow Snapchat ads to be sold by third parties.
This land rush is going to be interesting to watch, particularly since Snapchat remains perplexing to many of the marketers who will be clamoring to use it.
Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg exactly describes this tension:
“I will say, with a bit of a wink and a smile, that when I started to see some of the creative ideas for this, this is where I suddenly felt a little old because I thought, I don’t know if this is on brand.”
For Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell executed a campaign with a Snapchat lens that turned peoples’ heads into giant tacos with fire eyes and hot sauce hair. In one day, the lens achieved 224 million views and people engaged with it for 24 seconds before sharing.
That level of engagement will lure a lot of brands into the platform. And succeeding on Snapchat will require more customized creative than elsewhere.
As with any new platform, the risk is in the cart leading the horse. Many marketers will be rushing to come up with a “Snapchat strategy.” It’s important to remember that the brand strategy comes first, and Snapchat is a tool to evaluate against that brand strategy. Snapchat won’t be a good fit for every brand. It’s not a strategy unto itself.
But for brands where Snapchat is a good fit, this is a good time for experimentation, and not to evaluate it the same way marketers would a thirty second spot.
I like how Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg put it: “We don’t corporatize this. We don’t hyper-manage it.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Here’s a cartoon I drew about Snapchat in 2013.