Tens of millions of people will be tuning in to the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, but to say that “all eyes will be on the game” might be a bit of a stretch. Many of them will be looking at their phones, including after they see an interesting or engaging ad. When they do, Snapchat will be there to help extend brands’ messaging.
During last year’s Super Bowl, Snapchatters in North America engaged with the platform’s Lenses tool nearly 2 billion times. This year’s engagement could be equally strong or higher, particularly as brands including Pringles, Doritos and Dove have created Snapchat extensions for their Super Bowl campaigns.
“We’re a really unique second screen,” said Nina Mishkin, Snapchat’s director of brand strategy. “The ad experience on Snapchat is a participatory layer across the broader campaigns that brands are running. It creates an opportunity where it's not just a one-way conversation.”
Everyone is a creator
When consumers see multiple Snapchat ad products as part of a Super Bowl campaign, awareness increases 2.2 times (compared to a single ad type) and intent increases 2.9 times, according to Kantar data.
Brands are keying into these engagement numbers for this year’s game. As Chris Pratt ponders his uncanny resemblance to Pringles’s mascot in the chip brand’s ad, Snapchatters can use Snapchat AR to enable users to don Mr. P’s mustache, eyebrows and red bow tie.
Doritos, meanwhile, will draw upon the triangle tracker Snapchat lens to enable users to turn Las Vegas’s pyramid-shaped Luxor hotel into an example of its new Dinamita flavor, which will be the focus of its Super Bowl campaign. Dove, which will use the big game platform to promote body confidence for girls playing sports, has created a Snapchat lens that will bring users’ Bitmoji images to life.
“That participatory element really speaks to like the age that we're in today, where everyone is a creator,” Mishkin said. “That's a huge opportunity to invite a whole audience into being a part of your brand.”
This year, Snapchat’s invitation to engage will also include the crowd within Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, as the platform is partnering with the NFL for some in-game activations using Snap’s Camera Kit technology. For instance, stadium screens will use Snapchat Lenses to place 49ers, Chiefs and custom Vegas-themed Super Bowl helmets on fans.
“This is the first time the NFL is integrating the technology into the cameras in the stadium,” Mishkin said. “Our lenses are going to be literally everywhere.”
For those watching at home, Snapchat will offer fans a chance to predict various game outcomes using a new API that will show real-time data about others’ choices. The app will also use its Live Garment Transfer technology to enable fans to try on football jerseys and launch a football-themed Spotlight challenge for Snapchatters to submit their most epic touchdown dances.
“When brands are really lighting up a Snapchat strategy across the platform, they're using both video ads and lenses to really maximize all of the creative canvases and connect with Snapchatters,” Mishkin said. “It really reinforces the value of Snapchat as a component and an extension of the broader campaigns that are running across the Super Bowl.”
Snapchat’s Super Bowl efforts come as parent Snap Inc. reported this week that Snapchat added more users in Q4, though not in its most lucrative markets. Revenue also increased but missed analysts' expectations, sending the company’s stock value tumbling. Earlier this week, Snap said it was laying off 10% of its workforce. Despite these challenges, Snapchat continues to resonate with younger consumers.
Elevating the consumer experience
When looking at the platform to extend campaigns, Mishkin notes that Snapchat users have the tools — like frames and lenses — to connect with others, including friends, family, creators and brands, in fun and engaging ways.
“The ad experience on Snapchat really becomes a participatory layer across the broader campaigns that brands are running,” she said. “It creates an opportunity where it's not just a one-way conversation where a Snapchatter is consuming something. They're actually able to put themselves into the brand story.”
Kantar’s research found the most enjoyable Snapchat ads connected with the brand’s Super Bowl ads, particularly those that utilize humor and create relatable scenarios for consumers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the best ways to drive intent include using prominent product shots in food and beverage campaigns and celebrities and engaging storylines for products involving services, according to the research.
“That interactive piece, I think, is really unique to Snapchat and really speaks to the authentic behavior that's happening across the app,” Mishkin said. “I think that the brands that we see the most success and the brands who are really leaning in and doing Snapchat really well are building for that sharing capability. They’re thinking about how to power deeper, more fun, playful connections between Snapchatters, friends and family.”
For Snapchat, the cumulative effect of the activations and campaign extensions is to elevate the consumer experience, whether that is on the ground at the game or watching with friends and family at home or at a party.
“I love brands who are really thinking about what the consumer experience is both on the ground and at home, and thinking about how can they enhance that and how can they connect it to their broader brand story,” Mishkin said. “How do they help give Snapchatters a unique way in to not just consume what's happening around the Super Bowl, but to actually participate and be a part of it.”