Snapchat might not just be for ugly, fleeting photos of your drunk friends anymore-soon, you might be getting ads. McDonald’s is one of many companies with accounts on the websites, utilizing the website’s “Snap Story” feature to advertise their products. One posted recently even utilized celebrity endorsements, featuring basketball star LeBron James. The 36-second clip features the classic Mcdonald’s burger before featuring James at the end. The clip also showed Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and NFL prospect Johnny Manziel. McDonald’s is not the first of these brands to adopt SnapChat as an advertising platform-Taco Bell released a number of ads beginning last May.
It is a cool idea, in theory. Snapchats feel very personal, more so than most advertisements do. Having your favorite celebrity give you a personal SnapChat sounds somewhat appealing. However, I definitely see some flaws in the plan that would reduce overall effectiveness of the platform.
First, a user must follow the brand on SnapChat to even see snaps. The likelihood of me, or most of my friends, following a brand on SnapChat to begin with is minimal. Secondly, snap stories lie completely in the audience’s control-in order to view them, a user must click and hold the snap for its entire duration to see it. While certain celebrities may lure some Snapchats users in to the ad, I seriously doubt many people would end up regularly watching all of the ads released on a brand’s Snapchat. I don’t even make it through most of my friends’ snap stories, and half the time, I just click on them to get rid of the annoying notification that pops up on my phone. It is important that companies learn to keep up with developing social media. However, I think that they should spend more time focusing on what social media platforms best meet their goals.
Dello, C. (26 February 2014). Mcdonald’s joins marketers experimenting with Snapchat. AdAge.com. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/digital/mcdonald-s-joins-marketers-experimenting-snapchat/291875/ on 27 February 2014.