Last week, Acura took advantage of a new advertising format when they used Snapchat to give a preview of their latest NSX Prototype. The company first sent out a tweet asking followers to add them as a friend on Snapchat, promising that the first 100 to do so would receive a sneak peek of the new NSX. They later followed through on Snapchat with a six-second video clip showing the car speeding around a racetrack.
By using Snapchat, Acura is taking advantage of a platform that is rising in popularity and quickly becoming mainstream. For such a simple program, Snapchat has managed to maintain it’s reputation as more than 200 million snaps are sent every day. “If you look at the numbers, Snapchat is way past being a niche platform,” said Alicia Jones, Honda and Acura’s manager of social marketing. “People use Snapchat to communicate with friends through pictures and video in mobile — it’s a fascinating and important trend in digital and social right now, and brands have a place to play there.”
Other brands have utilized Snapchat for marketing as well. New York City frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles was the first to use it as a way to promote coupons. However, unlike on Facebook or Twitter, there’s a certain amount of impermanence on Snapchat that makes coupon use both more difficult to manage and more exclusive. The inability to open the coupon snap until the moment of purchase allows for only those customers who are friends with 16 Handles on Snapchat to take advantage of their promotions.
It’s this sort of connection that makes advertising on Snapchat so special. The app’s philosophy is about sharing authentic moments with friends, be it through a quick video or a snap of a funny face. Because of this, advertising on the platform feels much more personal and much more involved than ads in any other format. Consumers give brands the go ahead by accepting invitations to become friends, therefore verifying their involvement with the company and their willingness to receive advertising.
Not only does Snapchat provide this closeness between user and brand, but it also serves as an ideal ad format. Through Snapchat, advertisers are sending content that is quick, informational and visual, all the parts of an effective ad. This makes the platform great for sending coupons, creating contests and giving users a sneak peek at new products. What with the sort of access Snapchat offers, it’s easy to see how it could quickly develop into the next big platform for advertising.