What the hell is SnapChat you ask? It is a mobile application that allows for real time picture/video chatting with friends. It is also the most demonized youth fad since…whatever the last thing was. It is widely accepted that Snapchat serves but one purpose: for millennials to spam pictures of their genitals to each other. Or so major media and blogging outlets would lead you to believe. Why are we even talking about this; is the team Digital Surgeons actually just a bunch of degenerate Snapchat sexting enthusiasts? Yes, but that’s not the only reason we are talking about Snapchat. Snapchat is not actually based around sexting. Snapchat is a force to be reckoned with in the social sphere and it is only a matter of time before brands begin utilizing it to create unique consumer experiences.
After only a year of existence, SnapChat processes over 50 million images and videos. Every single day. Yeah, give yourself a second to wrap your head around that statistic. For comparison, Instagram has 5 million photos uploaded to it daily. And since we are name dropping other social platforms, we might as well make mention of the David vs. Goliath battle that Snapchat recently came out ahead on. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Snapchat should be blushing at how much Facebook admires their platform. Zuckerberg himself took 12 days to copy Snapchat’s entire platform and release it as “Poke”. The best part of the Poke application? What a failure it is. Snapchat remains in the top 5 free apps while Poke doesn’t crack the top 100. Yikes.
A Sense of Intimacy
Is there any greater connection in the world than a one-on-one face-to-face relationship? Is there anything more powerful than staring deeply into someone’s eyes? We have long believed that the best way for a brand to succeed is to form these relationships with consumers. Social media allows brands to easily become personal again. Marketers have often lauded the public nature of traditional social platforms; rallying around cries of “virality” and “earned impressions” from brands on social media. Snapchat is not designed to be socially shared or accessible to all. The interactions are one-on-one and fleeting, you know, like real human interactions. A platform such as Snapchat lets brands not only get personal, but have that real face-to-face contact. A campaign will prove definitively how engaged a brand’s fans really are. Are they engaged enough to hold a private conversation to unlock content?
If there’s one word that get’s marketers drooling, it’s the mention of the oh-so-sought after millenial consumer. That rambunctious 13-21 year old consumer that is full of disposable income and also thinks your brand sucks. They hate your banner ads and hate your email blasts even more. They aren’t even watching your commercials on TV… they’re too busy taking pictures of themselves and sending it to their friends on Snapchat. What’s a brand to do? Keep buying the same old ineffective ad units but infuse them with “wacky humor”? Snapchat is an untouched platform inhabited almost entirely by millennials; the next move is obvious.
Why we like Snapchat
We like Snapchat for same reasons we liked Facebook and Twitter when they came onto the scene: they’re cool and possibilities are endless. Snapchat provides marketers and brands a platform for interacting with consumers in humorous and personal way. Imagine if you got a SnapChat from the Burger King King or the Michelin Man? It’s funny. It’s slightly unsettling. It’s a great brand experience.
The Facebook Poke platform was recently utilized by an Israeli Lingerie brand; sending a ten second titillating video of a model putting on the brand’s tights. Clearly there is the safety of the Facebook name behind Poke but we believe the real success will be using the SnapChat platform. For a platform that has gained notoriety for being exclusively for sexting, wouldn’t it be interesting to see brand’s push the envelope? We hope 2013 brings us a brand that is brave enough to connect with their customers in a bold, visual and 10-second manner.