Snapchat's marketing spin at Cannes Lions includes a branded Ferris wheel

Dive Brief:

  • Snapchat is taking a unique approach to marketing itself at this year's Cannes Lions advertising festival with a branded Ferris wheel placed in front of one of the event's central hubs, the Palais, according to Adweek.
  • The carnival ride, branded with Snapchat's ghost icon and painted canary yellow, can handle 84 riders at a time and includes Snapcodes that unlock a themed lens that overlays sunglasses and "Cannes" in users' snaps. Along with the Ferris wheel, Snapchat also set up a Spectacles vending machine close to the ride.
  • Snapchat and its parent company Snap Inc. aren't new to Cannes Lions but are making a push to educate people on its ad product, creative and measurement system, Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan told Adweek. Snap will be pitching marketers on its agency certification program, self-serve ad platform and creative tools.

Dive Insight:

Snapchat's Cannes Lions Ferris wheel will be open from noon to midnight during the festival and is a clear win for the app in terms of pure awareness. Beyond being a fun physical activation, however, the Ferris wheel serves as a reminder that Snap is still very much trying to win the business of more advertisers as it searches out continued growth after going public in March and facing a first quarter largely deemed disappointing by analysts

While Snapchat has a strong grip on its existing, youth-centric audience, a recent report from Sensor Tower suggested it's struggled to attract new users in Q2, with the number of app downloads dropping 22% in April and May compared to the year-ago period. Snap faces stiff competition from copycat competitors like Facebook's Instagram Stories, and likely wants to leverage Cannes to distinguish its marketing tools, which are continuing to grow in areas like location-based marketing and augmented reality. 

As a social media platform, Snapchat arguably has one of the lightest touches with a mobile-focused app experience and ephemeral content model, but it's becoming well-known for a quirkier approach to out-of-home marketing. Some promotions have been as simple as billboards with nothing more than its logo, designed to get adults asking younger generations exactly what the billboard represented; Spectacles, Snap's first wearable product, were originally sold exclusively through odd-looking vending machines and limited-run pop-up shops

Filed Under: Social Media Corporate News Mobile
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