Snapchat launches shoppable ads – is it time I paid attention?

Snapchat has launched shoppable ads,  so now seems like the perfect time to find out how marketers can use it.  I had dismissed snapchat as “something teenagers use to send rude pictures to each other”.  I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong (I used to predict that twitter would never take off) and it turns out that snapchat with over 100million daily users can be a useful tool for marketing.  As I’m not a regular Snap-Chatter I turned to Emma Young, a third year marketing student at Lancaster University, to keep me up to date on how to use it. Here is what she had to say:


I’ve been doing work experience with KO Consulting. Kathleen suggested that as a millennial who can only just remember life before social media I would be well placed to give her an overview of SnapChat and how it can be used in marketing.

So people… welcome to 2016, where verbal communication is kept to a minimum so that you can find time to get tagging, tweeting and imessaging your nearest and dearest.

Yes, Facebook and Twitter are still key social media platforms, but there’s so much more now, Instagram, Pinterest and now very importantly – snapchat!  Snapchat is a great way of getting creative to increase customer interaction with your brand.

Geo-Location filters – Why aren’t more retailers and service providers using these? For example a recent trip to London  provided many opportunities for me to take snap chats at various locations, add a quirky filters and let my friends know what I’m up to without the need to think about crafting a tweet or status update. The amazing thing about this for marketers is that it can be used to advertise a locations’ newest attractions in a way that rises above the day to day social media ‘noise’ everyone is used to. No one is telling them why they should go or what deals are on but offers a modern age word of mouth system that can attract various consumers.  For example, these photos from my snapchat account show the graphics I added that popped up when I was taking the “snap”.  For me, the graphics available in that particular location were fun additions to my photos (or snapchats), but for the organization tasked with marketing those attractions the graphics added to the snap also promoted their attraction to my followers on Snapchat.

Snapchat's geolocation filters

Snapchat’s geolocation filters

Celebrities now on snapchat – Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber or Gigi Hadid are clearly going to be prohibitvley expnsive for a lot of brands to use  in an advertising campaign. However they are all frequent users of snapchat with millions of followers.  As a purely visual medium the impact of a high profile person using a particular product within their snapchat feed can be huge for the brand they are displaying.

Promotional Filters – Films have taken to snapchat to endorse their up and coming productions, many films such as: Dirty Grandpa and The Huntsman: Winters War. These filters will add various effects to the user’s face such as: adding a moustache or giving them white hair and eyes. For companies wanting to create interactive and engaging digital campaigns this could bring a whole new dimension to their promotions.

Through these different features on snapchat, brands can gain a more interactive consumer base and have another platform to put out brand images that allow them to become instantly recognisable to their market. In the virtual reality the majority of us are living in, there’s nothing to lose by creating an account!


So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of SnapChat from someone who knows. If you’d like to know more about which marketing tools you should be considering get in touch. If I don’t have the answer I’ll find someone who does.



Kathleen O'Connor

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