Snapchat to Shake the Ad Industry with Scannable Ads

Snapchat’s branded filters, which have been around for quite some time now, take advertisements to a whole new level. Many advertisers find branded filters to be an effective marketing medium because they make ads more fun and interactive by adding an augmented reality layer. But Snapchat isn’t stopping there; they keep finding methods to monetize the growing intersection of people and the digital world. Their latest ad concept, which encourages users to scan or “snap” an image to unlock content, could succeed where QR codes fail miserably.

“Snapchat is working on a new type of ad that would allow people to use their smartphone cameras to unlock special sponsored content in the app. The feature lets people scan an image or barcode on a poster or a website, which later gives them a special deal on a product, according to two people briefed on the company’s ad strategy.”

— Tom Dotan and Amir Efrati/The Information


Snapchat Codes on the Rise 

Snapchat’s new marketing codes are just starting to pop up. These scannable ads invite people to scan them in exchange for promotional add-ons.

Snapchat expects that this innovation will boost engagement rates for ads and will resonate with marketers. Many brands are still skeptical of the platform’s ability to deliver meaningful media tactics beyond top funnel branding tactics.  

One of Snapchat’s longtime advertisers, Universal Pictures, is among the first to test “Snap to Unlock” for its new movie “The Girl on the Train.” According Doug Neil, exec VP of digital marketing at NBC Universal, mysterious billboards will be showing up around subways in New York and Washington, D.C. and in some parts of Los Angeles.


Mr. Neil stated that QR codes failed miserably because they were at a disadvantage. Users and consumers had to scan them with dedicated applications, all of which needed to be installed for the sole purpose scanning the QR codes. Snapchat on the other hand, is already installed across millions of active users’ phones.

Snapchat users are assigned a snapcode of their own that friends can scan, making it easier it to follow each other.


“Snapchat is a little more ubiquitous and kids do love the discovery aspect of the Snapcode,” Mr. Neil stated. “So this could be a bigger play there.” This could change the whole advertising field.

Coca Cola Company has already used snap codes on Sprite soda cans as part of their marketing strategy. Users are instructed to scan the snap codes to unlock special discounts.

The Future of Snapcodes

According to Chris Tuff, director of business development at 22squared, it is  expected that more movie studios, fashion brands and retailers will follow suit with the use of snapcodes.

“You could get a code on your receipt or it could be on a sign at the store,” Mr. Tuff stated. “And you could get an exclusive filter for 24 hours, so there’s exclusivity and the ability to share it. That makes sense for certain companies.”

“The Girl On the Train” snapcodes on billboards will on have the words: “What happened that night.”

The downside of these snapcodes is that a civilian may not make sense of the ad if he doesn’t know how Snapchat works. Once the user snaps the code, he’ll be taken to special geofilters.

Further development is expected to be done in the “Snap to Unlock” feature.  Advertisers’ snapcodes could lead to deeper content offers like animated lenses, Snapchat’s popular feature that adds special visual effects to video selfies.

Noah Mallin, head of social at MECNorth America stated that while snapcodes may seem fun and playful, they could be helpful to marketers with measuring how well their Snapchat campaigns perform, particularly if they send out offers that lead people redeem them in stores.

“QR codes are one of those things everyone laughs about but Snapchat found an interesting way to reinvent them,” Mr. Mallin added. “They’re taking a real-world interaction and making it actionable on the platform.”

Why Your Influencer Strategies Shouldn’t Be Managed By Your Media Team

Why Your Influencer Strategies Shouldn’t Be Managed By Your Media Team

The Hidden Tresure: Long-Tail Influencer Video Campaigns

What defines an influencer? defines it as “any person who is an expert in a particular field that has a niche following interested in his or her advice and opinions.” Thus continues the movement of online influencer marketing that has been taking over the industry over the past several years. But are the tides shifting?

Popular internet sensations are quickly becoming a dime a dozen. By now, we’ve all heard of Jenna Marbles, Michelle Phan, and PewDiePie. Yes, we all know they have a gazillion followers. But how are these YouTube gazillionaires any different than this?

Did you know that according to SocialBlade there are over 1,050 YouTubers with over 1million subscribers? That elite “million” club isn’t so elite anymore. Albeit, the vast majority of the non-traditional celebs that covet their large followings have made quite impressive careers for themselves.

Here’s another question for you. As a marketer or business owner, have you ever tried to contact a celeb YouTuber like Michelle Phan? Well it’s damn near impossible. You may as well give Tom Cruise a jingle. The amount of brands vying for their attention is astronomical, and their fees are stealthily climbing.

While they are more within reach than say, Mr. Top Gun, it’s still incredibly hard to get their attention unless you have a fat wallet. But thankfully, there is a better way to turn your efforts into sales by enlisting the talents of the lesser know species of YouTubers.

Longtail influencers. Never heard of ‘em? Oh yes you have. All of those specialized social videos you love watching that aren’t hugely popular, but hone right in on your target market. These influencers may not have the most subscribers, maybe between 10K-500K, but their fans trust them and are extremely engaged with the content.

A great example is when Bohemian Guitars paired up with popular guitar playing YouTuber Chad Neidt. Chad’s “One Minute Mashups” have been featured on The Today Show and in the Huffington Post, among many others. With over 67K subscribers, he was the perfect longtail pairing for Bohemian Guitars. Together, they created a great video that appeals to both of their audiences and has garnered almost 100K views. Check it out here:


What’s missing from this Bohemian Guitar campaign? Additional Social Video outlets such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and of course Vine.  Music is one of the most popular categories of content on any social platform and both labels and media companies are definitely becoming more aware.

Here’s how iHeartMedia helped spread the message about #MusicInTheMorning on a recent campaign:

Another example is Universal Music Group.  Remember Now That’s Music compilation albums that replaced mix-tapes back in the day?  Well the franchise is still going strong. For their 53rd album release (yes! 53!!!) they worked with long tail influencers across Vine, Twitter and Instagram to create music related content.

Videos like this one from the “too hot” Miuccio Brothers garnered over 1M views and helped propel the album to #1 on the Billboard Music charts!

People watch videos from influencers like The Miuccio Brothers with smaller followings because the content is usually more relatable.  And while a celebrity influencer with 5M subscribers may give your brand more exposure, the more highly engaged audiences are more likely to turn into actual sales.  Case in point: Now That’s Music Vol. 53.

Another major benefit of using long tail influencers for your brand’s social video is the lower cost. Combine the lower cost with a more engaged audience and an advertiser can start to see more efficient and effective campaigns; without sacrificing reach.

We will dive into data from two campaigns next Thursday and put a spotlight on the efficiency achieved when long tail influencers are leveraged instead of the super celebrities of social media.


Get ready for #VineTips…coming in February from FullBottle. Hint: Story lines are key. Love the Saturday morning series from @bottlerocket13


Get ready for #VineTips…coming in February from FullBottle. Hint: Story lines are key. Love the Saturday morning series from @bottlerocket13

Creators to promote Paddington release

From on DECEMBER 3, 2014

Om Nom and Paddington — BFFs?

The characters from Cut the Rope puzzle video game and Weinstein Company film will see their worlds merge in an ad campaign that’s rolling out ahead of the U.S. release of Paddington. As part of the digital promo, influencer-produced videos will appear on Vine and Instagram to drive downloads of the mobile app and support the release of the film.cuttheropepaddington-394x222

The deal with the viners was arranged by FullBottle, a San Francisco-based media company that pairs brands with online creators. The viners participating in the project are Brittlestar, Daniel Ojanlatva and Andrew David who are creating one video each.

“Some are artistic, others are comedic sketches,” says Eric Wachs, VP of marketing at FullBottle.

Some videos, like this one from animator Ojanlatva, show Paddington the bear joining Om Nom in the holiday version of the Cut the Rope app, launching Dec. 5. Others will play on the themes of the film, like a father showing the mischief his song gets him into when he’s hanging out with Paddington, Wachs explains.

The overarching theme of friendship helped FullBottle with its search for the right influencer partners, whom the team find by using an algorithm that sifts through tags, keywords and audience comments to find the right partners for brands.

“The influencers will be promoting not just the app to drive downloads, but also they’ll be creating short micro-videos to promote the film itself. It’s a duel-pronged approach,” says Wachs.

This is the first time a sponsored character makes an appearance in ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope game. The film, which has already debuted in the U.K., comes out in January in the U.S.



Lunar Madness

15.04.2014 by Eric Wachs

One thing I love about Vine is time-lapsed videos. Last week at a Dodgers game, I tried unsuccessfully to record the grounds crew prepping the field before the game. One would think it’s easy. Think again!

Well – last night’s Lunar Eclipse – the first of 2014 – brought out some cool content on Vine and across social media in general. Here are a few Vines from last night that I enjoyed.

To the tune of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”

Is there a more fitting song for a Lunar Eclipse?

Is music required when you have the beautiful sounds of nature in the background?

Brands Adopting Vine – We Love It!

03.04.2014 by Eric Wachs

The folks over @ReelSEO are doing a phenomenal job tracking how brands are activating on Vine. Every week they publish a list of the top 5 branded vines.

Here’s the rundown for this week:

#1 Dunkin Donuts
Let’s get the April Fool’s content over with first of all. Dunkin Donuts sacrificed 12 yummy donuts by gluing them to the ceiling, which is a criminal waste of such lovely food but a necessary one in the name of tent-pole marketing.

#2 Samsung Mobile
Next up, Samsung uploaded a very plausible (pawsible?) April’s Fool video for the canine version of the Gear Fit Band. A very squeezable puppy takes to the park wearing his brand new ‘PuppyFit’ and doesn’t he look exhausted after that little run? *Squeezes*

#3 Samsung Camera
Zach King featured in our best Vine’s post last week with that impressive selfie/wefie clip (and here’s how they did it). He’s back again this week with another great looped 6-second video for the #NXmini. You can see the joins a little more in this one but still, a fantastic use of the medium.

#4 Coca-Cola
Well, hello again Zach. Mr King, Vine’s very own magician superstar, collaborates with Coca-Cola and Five Guys (Burgers and Fries) to turn a couple of paper napkins into a couple of thirst-quenching drinks. One of which we’re pretty certain must be a coke. Unless this is another April Fools.

#5 Taco Bell
Lastly, now that Taco Bell has actually launched their insanely anticipated breakfast menu, what better way to demonstrate the draw of the mighty WaffleTaco than by encouraging a sleepover in the very place they are made. Those chairs look super comfy to nap on…..

Easy Come, Easy Go – Vine Followers Fight Back

26.03.2014 by Reed Berglund

Vine star, Nash Grier, learned quickly that it’s a fine line between love and hate…with Vine fans. Late last year, Grier posted a YouTube video telling his female audience “how to be more attractive.” It was a blunt approach to explaining what guys look for in girls. Apparently his loyal following was less than impressed with the words of advice. Cautionary tale – don’t take your fans for granted.
With this in mind, it appears social fans have short term memory. Or easily forgive. Grier remains at the top of Vinelebrities.