- Snapchat has launched an immersive Halloween content series, “Phantom House,” according to details shared with Marketing Dive and on Snap’s website. The first episode rolled out Oct. 8, with new episodes arriving weekly.
- “Phantom House” follows several content creators as they attempt to escape a haunted house. Viewers are encouraged to aid the creators by gathering clues and helping to solve puzzles, and can also engage with themed AR Lenses and the app’s AI-generated Dreams selfies.
- Snapchat is promoting the series as a premium opportunity for brands to run ads and create AR experiences. Disney+ and Maybelline are among early advertisers, with both brands also participating in an out-of-home (OOH) activation during Advertising Week New York.
Snapchat is attempting to attract both users and brands with the launch of “Phantom House,” an expansive series spanning the app’s Chat, Camera, Stories, and Spotlight tabs. The effort, billed as a first-of-its-kind for the platform, is backed by research indicating that 80% of Snapchat users plan to use the app during Halloween, per the release, a presence that could help entice advertisers as the company struggles to overcome a revenue slump.
Snapchat users will be able to follow along with “Phantom House” each week while aiding creators Tony Talks, Sofie Dossi and Ezee as they search for clues and solve puzzles. The creators are Snap Stars, which is what Snap calls its verified content creators. Viewers are also encouraged to share what they find and engage further through a Spotlight challenge, Cameos, AR Lenses and AI Dreams selfies. Snap launched its Dreams feature in August, allowing users to place themselves in imagined dreamscapes by leveraging the power of AI.
Early advertisers for the series include Disney+ and Maybelline, who will be running ads between “Phantom House” content. Additionally, both advertisers will offer AR Lenses that will have optimal placement on Snapchat through First Lens, an offering under Snap’s “First” line-up of prominent advertising placements that also includes First Story and First Commercial. Brands looking to get involved can run commercials, create AR experiences and also take part in off-platform co-marketing.
Supplementing the in-app advertising, Disney+ and Maybelline will also be featured in Snap’s OOH takeover at Advertising Week New York, which begins Oct. 16. On Oct. 18, Snap will invite attendees of the conference to a private event where they can experience “Phantom House” in person, per details shared by the company.
Along with touting its reach, Snap is also marketing “Phantom House” as a way to share brand messages that will resonate. Halloween campaigns on Snapchat have a 1.6-times lift in brand awareness, 2.1-times lift in ad awareness and a 1.6-times lift in action intent compared to Kantar MarketNorms, according to recent Snap-commissioned research. Snapchat, as of the second quarter, had 397 million daily active users.
Among ways for both users and marketers to get involved with “Phantom House” is a heavy focus on AR, a capability that Snap for a long time has been focused on growing, even making the tech one of its three strategic priorities last year. However, it hasn’t come without bumps in the road — the company recently shuttered its Augmented Reality Services for Business (ARES) platform just six months after its launch, a move credited partly to the rise of generative AI, which CEO Evan Spiegel said has made differentiating its AR business more difficult.