National Selfie Day
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#NationalSelfieDay: Our Paid Social Experts on Snapchat's Sponsored Offerings

In honour of National Selfie Day, I interviewed some of iProspect's Paid Social experts to gather insight on Snapchat's sponsored lens and filter ad placements. In this post, James, Cat, Ian and I provide insight on what makes Snapchat's lenses and filters unique as well as why brands should utilise these features within campaigns. 

1. So, what are sponsored lenses and filters?

It’s no secret that selfies are the bread and butter of Snapchat. Filters and Snapchat Lenses are two ways in which users can engage with this technology to alter the snaps that they send to their friends in the platform.

You can select Lenses before the photo is taken and overlay a fun effect on the selfie. Some popular examples: the dog lens or the dancing hotdog.

Filters are then applied after the picture is taken and typically resemble either a camera effect (as on Instagram) or a frame/overlay. In this instance, a user might use this feature to let their friends know where they are or what their current mood is.

An important thing to understand is that not all lenses and filters are available all the time. Approximately 20 lenses will be available per day for users to play with and filters update to the time of day and location that the user is in. By sponsoring a lens, an advertiser has the opportunity to build a lens that is relevant to their brand and insert it into the offerings of the day. With sponsored filters, an advertiser can specify a place and time that is relevant to the brand and have the filter be delivered to that location at the right time. 

-James Corran, Paid Social Planner 

2. What is unique about sponsored lenses and filters on Snapchat?

Snapchat was the first platform to deliver a truly outstanding ad unit that leverages A.R. to create immersive brand experiences that put the consumer at the centre. Snapchat truly understands that the camera is the main method that people share content today. 

-Sebastian Redenz, Head of Paid Social

3. Why should a brand consider a sponsored lens or filter?

The key reason brands should consider a sponsored lens or filtes: they are fun to use. How often do people express happiness when interacting with an ad? By using a lens or filter, there is that added ‘fun’ factor to the engagement exchange between the consumer and the brand. Not only are consumers engaging with a brand in a controlled manner but you are also creating a brand ambassador effect.

-Cat Chappell, Paid Social Account Director

4. What are some of the limitations of the format and is this likely to change in the future?

Currently, it can be a challenge for brands to allocate the budget for a Snapchat Lens. This is because as well as requiring unique creative that isn’t usable elsewhere, it is currently only possible to book a one day takeover. This means that your sponsored lens will be available to all Snapchat users for a whole day, so this product is only useful for advertisers of products with mass appeal i.e. brands can’t focus on a niche target audience.

Audience Lenses is due to release soon. It is likely to be a killer product as it allows brands to target users they want to reach without paying for the full takeover. It also allows ads to run for a longer period of time. Our Paid Social team recently tested this feature for a video game launch that targeted 18+ gamers. We found that it works very well in terms of driving uses, shares and also CTR from the call to action when you focus on just relevant users. Additionally, with our audience knowledge and a full suite of targeting abilities, as well as combining the highly interactive Snapchat Lenses, we were able to produce much better results for the client.

- Ian Adams, Paid Social Account Director

As a special treat, here's an example of Snapchat's Audience Lens in action. 

Ian Snapchat Filter