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Victoria?s Secret sharpens social targeting, chats up Cosmopolitan fans on Snapchat

Victoria?s Secret is running ads for its Pink Date bra within Cosmopolitan magazine's content on the new Snapchat Discover platform, reflecting its potential to help brands narrow in on a targeted group of consumers. 

Snapchat Discover, which was just introduced this week, quickly had top brands such as T-Mobile and Macy's signing on to advertise within content offered by media companies such as ESPN and CNN. While Victoria?s Secret?s participation suggests brands see potential, rich metrics will be necessary for brands to continue to invest. 

?Given Snapchat's growth and popularity, the sky is the limit for the platform,? said Kevin Canty, vice president of East Coast sales at Kargo, New York. ?It's not a surprise to see progressive brands jump on board to experiment with how they can engage a younger, sometimes elusive audience. 

?There is always appetite for trial and error when it comes to marketing,? he said. ?What will likely need to develop further before more brands get involved is a defined set of metrics that can justify the spend.?

Profitable content
Victoria?s Secret?s ads on the Cosmopolitan channel are targeted and relevant. Advertising a particular style of lingerie, the Pink Date bra is relatable to Cosmopolitan?s content. 

The ads sit in between Cosmopolitan?s articles of ?Confessions of a Celebrity Assistant,? ?Seven Heart Hairstyles,? ?Ten Insanely Adorable Photos of Celebrities as Children,? ?Clothes that Look Good on Literally Everyone,? and more. 

The Cosmopolitan editorial team handpicks the best stories from and delivers them to Snapchat users every morning through Discover. The stories are only available for 24 hours before disappearing.

When users swipe through the Cosmo content, the Victoria?s Secret video ad begins, featuring models wearing the bra, dancing and having a good time. The ad uses the hashtag #DateWithPink and encourages users to shop the collection in stores and at

Victoria's Secret's broader campaign for its Pink Date bra uses the hashtag #DateWithPink on social channels to obtain user-generated content from its fans. The lingerie brand has hosted a social media challenge all week, encouraging fans and followers to tweet, comment and snap to the brand.

The brand is beefing up its marketing strategy in other ways. 

For the first time in years, Victoria?s Secret will be showing an ad during Super Bowl XLIX. The ad is for Valentine?s Day.

While Snapchat has been a hit with millennials, brands and publishers are finally realizing the potential to target specific segments of its 100 million-plus monthly users with forms of traditional content as CNN and ESPN join the new Discover platform. 

Snapchat Discover is building on the app?s growing popularity as a platform for advertisers and a bridge between brands and consumers by selling advertisements against the content and sharing revenue with the publishers. Each publisher will be able to upload content for limited periods, with ESPN planning to transmit media exclusively compiled as a ?daily edition? with five to 10 articles that consumers can swipe through (see story).

Other brands to initially join the new platform are Comedy Central, Daily Mail, Food Network, National Geographic, People Magazine and more.

Vice Media, another participant on the Snapchat Discover platform, is being supported by men?s hair and body brand Axe White Label, which is also doing video ads. 

Promoting on mobile
Victoria?s Secret is a brand that can easily integrate mobile given its core audience demographic.

Most recently, Victoria?s Secret began to use an interactive mobile chat solution to allow users of its Pink Nation application to socialize with others and a messaging feature to provide exclusive access to the brand?s annual Fashion Show.

Frankly, a messaging app that taps into interactivity, is powering the chat solution, which is part of a larger update to the Pink Nation app that also includes exclusive holiday offers as well as more badges, filters and stickers. In 2014, Victoria?s Secret mobile strategy involved repeated uses of in-app communication, including messaging and chat, which seem to work well with its audience (see story).

In-app messaging and push notifications have played a significant role in how the lingerie retailer brings back repeat traffic to build sales. Earlier in 2014, Victoria?s Secret played up a message center where the brand continuously pushed out content through its mobile application.

While these kinds of features may appear to be small changes, the overall effect has a much bigger impact on how Victoria?s Secret is lining up its app to be a key part in its mobile, digital, social and in-store strategies (see story).

?Consuming media and shopping are two of the things that dominate time spent on mobile devices, so it makes sense that a multitude of technologies and ad platforms have looked closely at aligning content and commerce,? Mr. Canty said. ?If there is a product that can pull off marrying smart consumer data with a sleek user experience, it's likely that brands would be big winners. 

?We're likely not far off from seeing this come together, but given the dizzying pace of innovation in ad tech, mobile platforms and digital payments, there is much work to be done.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York