Brands and the Evolution of Snapchat


Ever since its launch, Snapchat has been a popular topic of discussion. Now as the app moves away from its more negative associations, brands are beginning to jump on board. But is it an effective medium? We spoke with Guillaume Lelait, VP of Fetch North America, to get his take on the Snapchat trend.

lonelybrand: Why is Snapchat a great tool for brands?

Guillaume Lelait: Brands have a window of only a few seconds to communicate an effect message to users. The message must be relevant enough to drive a specific message in a very short period of time. Since not many brands have used Snapchat as yet, there is an open playing field of the types of learnings and opportunities that can be gained from marketing on Snapchat. Early investors have the luxury of setting the tone and expectations for users. They also benefit from the lack of clutter currently on Snapchat.

lonelybrand: What brands have you seen using it well?

GL: Taco Bell is the most active brand on Snapchat thus far. It began a Snapchat campaign in May to help launch its Beefy Crunch Burrito. For the fast food giant, the snaps aren’t about playing a game or sharing promotions as much as they are about building brand loyalty. The real-time aspect of the platform creates a very personal touch.

Chat Sports, a sport media company, saw an opportunity to connect with their college demographic on Snapchat and devised a targeted campaign. For the chance to win free tickets to a game, fans had to get 5 friends to add Chat Sports and have these 5 friends send a unique snap with the fan’s username and #gimmietickets.

We have more seen brands using the drawing functionalities on top of the images really well. Supercell, for instance, have been really successful using red drawings.

lonelybrand: How do you see the app outgrowing its negative reputation and becoming another essential social/mobile marketing tool?

GL: Snapchat is already moving away from their negative reputation and will continue to do so as they keep growing and attracting a variety of different users. They are attracting users from across the globe that are using the application to share their current moments in real-time. Snapchat is revolutionizing the concept of photo sharing by changing photos from permanent and perfected timestamps to random and impulsive acts of sharing that go away. By the sheer volume of users currently on Snapchat it is obvious that the next step will be for brands to leverage this technology.

Currently brands can share photos or short videos with users about fleeting promotions, contests in real time and quick peeks at leaked product images. As Snapchat continues to evolve its product, the possibilities to engage with users can be endless. Although, the lack of data Snapchat possesses might position them as a less valuable source, their volume of photo shares and their rate of growth still makes them a very interesting platform for brands.

What’s your take on Snapchat? Do you think it will become a must-have tool for brands, or will it go as quickly as it came?