These 5 brands are tapping Snapchat's potential

With over 200 million shares on the platform daily, mobile app Snapchat is experiencing an explosion in popularity—especially among teens and young adults. The app allows users to send photos to other users with only a 10-second viewing window. After that, they disappear. Though this contributed to its reputation for sexting and sending photos you don’t want to last, it’s also being used by brands wanting to expand their audience.

The nature of the app forces brands to get creative. Obviously, anything too inappropriate won’t be tolerated, but a few of the brands push the boundaries. Here are five ways brands are taking advantage of this platform Snapchat.



Fashion designer Rebecaa Minkoff used Snapchat to work around the industry taboo of revealing designs before New York Fashion Week. The entire premise of Fashion Week is to give buyers, media and industry influencers a first look as new collections are unveiled. If you reveal too much online, it ruins the anticipation. Being able to build buzz with sneak peaks over Snapchat, all without anyone being able to hold onto or leak the photos, changes the game.



One of the first brands to embrace Snapchat, Taco Bell uses the platform to make product announcements. The fast food chain asked its Twitter followers to add them on the app prior to sending an announcement the following day, which turned out to herald the May return of the beloved Beefy Crunch Burrito.

According to some back and forth banter between Taco Bell and Snapchat, there is some speculation that Taco Bell will be at the forefront of any advertising opportunities on the  platform. 



Acura’s idea of “racy” pictures are more pedal-to-the-metal than lingerie. The Japanese automaker is using Snapchat to offer first looks at new models in hopes of building a sense of exclusivity and excitement. In July, the brand asked fans to add its account on Snapchat for a look at the Acura NSX prototype. 



Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles is using Snapchat as a way to reward customers with coupon discounts. If a customer sends a photo of themselves, with or without friends, enjoying its products, they'll receive a coupon with anywhere from 16% to 100% off. A great idea in theory, the practice is a bit tricky when the cashier needs to see the coupon and scan it within 10 seconds.

The chain was drawn to Snapchat in large part because of its young user base. As demonstrated by this YouTube ad below, teenagers are a demographic 16 Handles desperately wants to reach.



Online clothing retailer Karmaloop is one of the brands pushing the boundaries on Snapchat. Megan Knisely, Karmaloop’s marketing director, told Adweek she’s willing to let her brand “show a little skin” to appeal to users who have come to expect it on the app. To put it more bluntly, Knisely said users should “be ready for a little bit of boobs and butt.”

The strategy seems to be working, as Karmaloop picked up over 2,000 Snapchat friends. In addition to the risqué photos, the brand also rewards friends with coupon codes and clothing sneak peeks. Their edgy image is reflected in this YouTube video. ​


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Filed Under: Social Media Mobile