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Snapchat: The Disappearing Act Here To Stay


Audiences have been enthralled by disappearing acts since the advent of the modern circus dating back to 17th century England. Human fascination with the ability of something to disappear without a trace can be pinpointed to our excitement of the unknown.

This ephemerality, until recently, has not even been a mere trace in the realm of advertising. This is not surprising given the traditional purpose of advertising has been to bombard audiences with repeat and lingering messages to create more opportunities for sale.

However, as social interaction online is evolving, so too is the way in which audiences consume and connect with marketed content. From a social interaction perspective, Facebook gives us a timeline of what our friends have done, Instagram shows us where our friends have been and, now, Snapchat tells us what our friends are doing in real time (all in 10 seconds or less). This is a game changer in the realm of connecting and reaching our audiences, as Snapchat offers more for businesses than might first meet the eye.

While the common perception of Snapchat is that it is only used by tweens to take and send selfies, this is far from reality, with companies coming to realise the power of this real time ephemerality.

Snapchat is a truly unique marketing opportunity – unprecedented and fleeting exposure in an intimate and timely setting. In the context of business to consumer advertising, this means the dissemination of personalised and targeted content to a highly captivated and interactive audience.

Who is using it?

So how is this starting to work for your typical company? One company who is leveraging off the benefits of real time sneak-peek exposure to their target audiences is Acura, the luxury division of Honda Motors. The brand recently used Snapchat to launch their new NSX Prototype model. Like many brands Acura used social media to launch the new model, unveiling their Snapchat account via their largely popular social media platform, Twitter. The first 100 fans that added Acura on Snapchat received the six second glimpse into the never before seen vehicle (Mashable, 2013).  The short term visual content drove users to believe that, as a valued customer, they were entitled to view intimate and exclusive footage. This solidified a connection between the brand and the user as it felt like a personalised video from a friend.

A local brand that has snapped up Snapchat is Domino’s Australia. As part of their People Powered Pizza campaign, Snapchat has fostered real time interaction and engagement with the core asset of the business – their customers. Domino’s Australia has had unfading success, as Snapchat has allowed them to engage with their audiences by sending them targeted and aggressive specials (Campaign Brief, 2014).  

What about your business?

As a business that is relatively new to the concept of Snapchat, is it relevant for you to capitalise on this burgeoning social media platform? 

Of course, if it fits the contextual needs of your campaign. If the purpose of your campaign is to build a connection with your audience, or to create hype around the launch of a new product or service, then your business fits the build. If you want to use it as a platform to give your audience a glimpse into the personalised and candid side of your brand, then Snapchat is an “unphotoshopped” and real time platform to leverage off.

Remember, Snapchat is about connection, nothing makes consumers embrace a brand more than feeling like they are the only customer in the room, and this platform gives us the power to do that.

Snapchat is not vanishing anytime soon. The balancing act of providing real time interaction in a transient and personalised space will see this online social exchange perpetuate into a potentially monetised advertising platform. The potential gain from Snapchat advertising, now and in the future, is vast so don’t let this opportunity disappear.

For more information about how you can utilise Snapchat, start a conversation with your Account Manager today.







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