Tiffany Joins in the Growing Snapchat Sponsored Lens Bandwagon
New York based luxury jewellery and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co. is now the first luxury brand to sponsor a Snapchat lens.
Snapchat lens is a feature in the messaging app that normally lets users add selfies with fun filters such as dog ears, flower crowns, alien eyes and other augmented facial features.
When a company sponsors a Snapchat lens, it can be customised to carry elements of the brand that users can apply to their selfies.
Thus, with the Tiffany & Co. lens, Snapchat users can add a touch of the jewellery brand’s appeal to any video or photo, using a personalised filter of blue and white hearts.
The feature was initially rolled out to users in the US and Australia, followed by Italy a day later.
The Snapchat lens is part of a bigger campaign by Tiffany labelled #LoveNotLike. It is aimed to promote new designs from the ‘Return to Tiffany Love’ jewellery collection which debuted in May this year.
This campaign aims to appeal to a younger demographic through celebrities and the use of Snapchat as the main channel.
A global digital marketing executive at Tiffany’s said that the brand already made significant inroads on Twitter. But Snapchat, and not Twitter, is the core medium for this new campaign.
This is apparently because Snapchat has the most substantial appeal to the 18-34 age group, the jewellery brand’s primary target market.
And the jeweller needs to attract additional customers. Tiffany’s sales dropped to $891 million in the first quarter of 2016. This represented a 7 percent decline, which the company has attributed to various challenges.
Fortunately the move to appeal to the young demographics through celebrities had a successful start. Two of the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner and her sister Kim Kardashian, were among the very first to use Tiffany’s Snapchat lens.
A post with the both of them featured the company’s logo and signature robin egg blue colour on top of the snap. Jenner’s eyes also had a set of matching blue hearts – a high profile use of the jewellery label’s first sponsored lens on the network.
Referring to Kylie’s post, the president of the creative agency Wednesday pointed out that their objective was to create something fun so that people would be eager to participate.
The Kardashians’ snap was completely unsolicited, making it a great organic marketing win for Tiffany & Co.
Forerunners in the sponsored lens game
Make-up labels like Maybelline, Urban Decay and L’Oréal lead in the sponsored Snapchat lenses game.
Some of them have displayed different lipstick shades using the augmented reality technology as they embrace the Snapchat lenses service.
Tiffany’s lens, on the other hand, draws a white heart along with other bubbling blue hearts and the “Return to Tiffany Love” text scribbled at the top when a snapchatter beams into the camera.
Reports say that it can cost you anywhere between $450,000 and $750,000 to sponsor a lens. This depends on the day.
The luxury brand is thought to have paid about $700,000 for their lens.
How other brands have waded in on sponsored lenses
Advertisers are clearly on the lookout for ways to join the fun and connect better with audiences. Increasingly aggressive approaches such as the Snapchat lenses are offering a leap into uncharted market territories.
Since Snapchat introduced the lens feature in 2015, various brands have explored it with amazing results.
In February this year, Snapchatters were treated to a bucket of Gatorade filter with which they doused themselves for 165 million times in just two days.
Gatorade is a sports fuel company that owns the eponymous Gatorade shower.
The Gatorade shower is an iconic television episode of the Super Bowl where the winning coach is doused with a huge bucket of the sport drink laced with ice.
To reach more of the younger demographic who mostly did not see the 2016 Super Bowl game on TV, the brand created a sponsored lens.
Users were allowed to overlay onto their selfies an animated dunk of the drink.
- Taco Bell
Later in May, Taco Bell, the US fast-food chain sponsored a Snapchat lens that lets users turn their snaps into taco-shaped versions of their own faces.
Snapchat says that the Taco Bell lens was viewed 224 million times in just 24 hours.
The most important part was how much time users spent playing with the filter before sending the photo: about 24 seconds on average.
That is 24 seconds of user engagement with the feature, on a platform that allows users to set the viewing time for a snap only to a maximum of ten seconds.
- 20th Century Fox
This was apparently the biggest among company engagement with the Lens feature. The film studio bought a complete takeover of all Snapchat lenses for the release of its “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
For 24 hours, Snapchatters had to forget their normal snapchat lenses in favour of a set of popular Marvel characters.
In lieu of face swaps, users were allowed to turn into their favourite Marvel characters such as Storm and Magneto before sharing the selfies with friends.
What brands get from sponsored lenses
Brands are shelling huge chunks of dough on Sponsored Lenses because it offers a completely new and rewarding take on brand activation.
As in the example of Taco Bell, brands get not just an impression from the service, but play time for their audiences too. You create an interactive ad, snapchatters spend time playing with it, and are left with a lasting memory of your brand.
Brands can acquire unlimited publicity. With Snapchat, you can potentially reach an audience of over 150 million daily users with highly engaged activity.
There’s the component of conversions too. Users who see the ads accompanying your lenses are likely to buy your products eventually.
With services like the sponsored lenses, Snapchat is likely to remain the force to reckon with in the social media world despite mounting competition.