Snapchat Will Charge Brands To Make Their Mark On Your Silly Selfies
"Sponsored lenses" reportedly will cost $750,000 on peak days, giving brands another way to reach Snapchat's young, digitally native audience of 100 million.
Snapchat’s unique approach to social media advertising continues. Its latest wrinkle? “Sponsored lenses” that give brands the opportunity to insert themselves into people’s selfies on the ephemeral messaging network.
Snapchat lenses launched two weeks ago and give Snapchatters the ability to overlay photos and videos with animated special effects, including crazy eyeballs and rainbow colored vomit. It’s the type of playful feature that Snapchat’s young, digitally native users are thought to love. What they don’t love is traditional advertising, so Snapchat continues to tinker with how to reach them with branded messages.
The sponsored lenses, which will debut on Halloween, will be designed by Snapchat for marketers and sold to brands for $750,000 for one “on peak day” such as Halloween, Thanksgiving or Black Friday, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the news. Non-peak days will cost $450,000, according to the story. Hollywood studios are expected to be among the first advertisers.
Snapchat’s advertising strategy is evolving quickly. Last year around this time, it launched its first ad, a trailer for the Universal Pictures movie Ouija. That was a very traditional effort and required users to tap and hold the ad to view it. Snapchat has since abandoned that ad format in favor of ads that are inserted within content, running them with Live Stories (user-generated and curated snaps from events and locations) and in its Discover section (content produced by major media companies such as BuzzFeed and Comedy Central).
More recently, it has started selling sponsored geo-filters to brands, giving them the opportunity to provide people who visit a location with filters that they overlay on photos and videos. McDonald’s was the first brand to buy a custom geo-filter that gave their customers the ability to add images of fries and burgers to their snaps. Since then, GE, Ted 2, Terminator, The Hunger Games, Minions, Nike and others have paid for geo-filters. And today, clothing company Hollister is targeting students at 19,000 high schools in the US and Canada with a “Friday Vibes” campaign.
Such advertising — sponsored lenses and geo-filters — seems to be a better fit for the Snapchat generation. The filters are completely opt-in and native to the Snapchat ecosystem, a place with 100 million daily active users, according to the company. And if you were wondering how Snapchat would be able to live up to its $15 billion valuation without “creepy” ad targeting, which CEO Evan Speigel has promised, perhaps the company is closing in on an answer.