Warner Bros. first to tap Snapchat's puzzle-game lens
- Warner Bros. is the first advertiser to take advantage of Snapchat’s interactive puzzle game sponsored lens ad format with a selfie filter promoting "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," as reported by Variety.
- The game overlays a crown and robe on Snapchat users who then have to solve a tile-based puzzle of their own image, with the ad timing the user. The sponsored lens first ran on Saturday.
- Snapchat has become a popular social media platform for promoting films and Warner Bros. isn’t the only studio to chalk up a first with a film promotion. Back in October 2015, Twentieth Century Fox became the first company to run a sponsored lens ad, at the time promoting "The Peanuts Movie."
Virtual lens filters are popular with Snapchat’s users, and sponsored lens campaigns have subsequently become a go-to way for brands to reach the app’s Gen Z and millennial-heavy audience. The new interactive lens offerings open up even more possibilities to connect, and Warner Bros. appears to be leveraging the product in a clever manner.
Games, on top of simply being fun, are shown to be a strong way to drive engagement, inherently requiring a degree of interactivity. The "King Arthur" puzzle being timed not only gives the game a bit of a competitive aspect, but also stands to measure time spent in the ad.
Puzzle game lenses are yet another in a slew of new ad offerings for marketers on Snapchat. After a long period of putting a premium on the user experience, Snapchat has now pivoted to be more accommodating to both advertisers and publishers in a bid to build out viability and value ahead of an IPO expected for March.
Snapchat is coveted for its young-skewing user base — the type of audience likely to engage with the "King Arthur" game — but some have raised questions over whether the platform can retain its value as those same users mature along with the app over the next several years. Gaming is not especially prevalent on Snapchat, but might be an area for the company to further explore once flush with more cash post-IPO.