- Snapchat unveiled its first campaign targeted at brands, "Meet the Snapchat Generation," which centers on the app's appeal with Gen Z users, according to details shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Developed in-house and created with creative agency SpecialGuest, the B2B effort features testimonials from marketers like Frito-Lay and the NFL on why Snapchat's audience excites them and how the platform keys into Gen Z values. The hero video depicts young users' activism and favor of Snapchat features like the app's augmented reality (AR) lenses.
- The campaign was inspired by five themes that emerged from studying Snapchat users: social responsibility, community-building, individuality, nurturing friendships and new modes of communication. Ads launch today across print, broadcast and digital media in the U.S., Canada and Australia, with plans to expand to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa later this month.
Following its first consumer-facing campaign last year, Snapchat is accelerating its efforts to score brand dollars during an uncertain period when many media budgets are up in the air.
With "Meet the Snapchat Generation," the video-sharing app is leaning heavily into its appeal with cause-driven young users at a time when key competitors that vie for the same eyeballs — namely TikTok — face mounting external pressures. The launch also lands in the peak of the back-to-school season that, while quieter during the coronavirus pandemic, remains an important window for marketers to reach Gen Z and adjacent demographics.
In the campaign videos, Snapchat shows how its core audience has participated in the surging wave of U.S. activism and groups like Black Lives Matter, while also proving receptive to technologies that are a central part of its user experience, like AR and vertical video sharing. Testimonials from the NFL and Frito-Lay speak to the off-the-cuff and authentic qualities of user-generated content on the platform, and how its users are focused on actions they view as ethically and morally right.
Snap is looking to reinforce a progressive image by drilling down into data. Eighty-two percent of surveyed Snapchat users believe they have a personal responsibility to change the world, and eight in 10 say companies also play a role in improving society, according to internal research informing the effort. Over 180 million users also interact with AR every day, per the data, and 75% of respondents view vertical video as more personal and immersive than other formats. Business areas that have received fresh attention due to the pandemic, including local businesses, are also called out: Snap says its users are 34% more likely to buy from brands that support their local community.
Beyond showcasing behavioral trends, Snapchat is emphasizing its diverse user base, which could prove appealing to marketers looking to broaden their reach. The app claims its Gen Z audience is the most diverse generation to date, with more than half coming from a minority racial or ethnic background.
Those figures clash with internal Snap culture, where just 4% of employees identify as Black or African American and 6.8% identify as Hispanic/Latinx, according to the company's first diversity report, which was released last week. Snap until recently resisted publishing internal diversity data.
Still, "Meet the Snapchat Generation" could prove an important wedge in getting brands to pay more attention to Snapchat while the app's competition lands on shakier footing. The Trump administration over the weekend significantly ramped up threats of a U.S. ban against TikTok, with a focus on parent company ByteDance's roots in China. If TikTok's tens of millions of U.S. users are suddenly unmoored, there's a chance they could spend more of their time on Snapchat, which shares a focus on lighthearted user-generated content.
Snap has in recent weeks started testing a vertical swipe functionality that closely mirrors a signature TikTok feature. Other social media apps are also taking more aggressive steps against TikTok. Facebook's Instagram is set to launch Reels later this month, a rival service that's reportedly been looking to poach top TikTok creators.