Cadbury: Why Snapchat Filters & Lenses Worked

Dog tongues lolling out when you open your mouth, sunglasses and explosion when you raise your eyebrows, big eyes popping from your face, it is very interesting to see your selfies through Snapchat’s different interactive lenses. However, have you noticed that some brands secretly appeared in your snapchat’s filters and lenses?  They usually have unique themes and appealing designs, which easily make users impressive and wanna share snapchats with their friends.

These Sponsored Geofilters and Lenses are new ads products provided by Snapchat on 2016. Different from the Standard Snap Ads, presenting in the format of ten seconds video, geofilters and lenses offer a completely unprecedented take on brand activation based on Snapchat’s features, improving users’ engagement to an large extent.

Cadbury, a British multinational confectionery company, launched branded geo-filters through Snapchat platform, in an effort to expand on its long-term “Obey Your Mouth” marketing campaign and sell its “singles” bars, namely Wispa, Crunchie, Boost, Double Decker and Twirl, to a new, younger target market.

Spending roughly half its yearly ad budget on a sponsored Snapchat Lenses campaign, Cadbury created three different lenses for its Crunchie campaign. Considering most snapchat lenses are used without sound, Cadbury opted to make its lenses humorous with novelty factor of morphing users’ faces into a golden disco ball or having a giant golden lips that bites into Cadbury “singles” bars. In order to keep with the bar’s “Get That Friday Feeling” tagline, these lenses were released to users on three Fridays since May 11th, 2016.

The brand had been aiming for a total of 10 million views for the lenses. Its first, the golden disco ball filter, successfully attracted 9 million views alone, and the other two also indicates a satisfactory performances according to its previous data.


At a cost ranging between $100,000 up to $750,000 for 24-hour Lenses tied to specific holidays and events, sponsored lenses is the most premium ad product buy on the app. However, is it worth for Cadbury to “testing the waters” before this ad product is mature? Obviously, the chocolate bars’ sponsored lenses worked well, but why? From my perspective, Cadbury successfully seizes two important factors for any brands in the snapchat ad world.

First of all, the target customers of both brands and Snapchat should be kept consistency. As a new-trend digital media, Snapchat has around 100 million active users, of which about 55 million are in the coveted 16 to 24 age range. Facing a serious sales decline in recent years, Cadbury’s “singles” bars hoped to attract new and young customers through its long-term “Obey Your Mouth” campaign. There is no doubt that Snapchat is a perfect stage for Cadbury to communicate with its younger target customers.

Moreover, wanting to reach as many eyeballs as possible, the content is always the key weapon. The “fun” element should be the format’s biggest challenge in Snapchat sponsored geofilters and lenses. Cadbury’s gold disco ball filter is one of successful lenses examples. It accurately caught millennials’ preferences, using exaggerated content and unique themes to engage its target customers. It’s really hard for users to say “no” to these funny lenses.

“Lenses drive significant reach of an audience you would struggle to buy on TV. When you get it right, the average time people use [a Lens] can go up to a minute; it’s very personal and very energetic.”

Jerry Daykin, global digital partner at Cadbury’s agency Carat

The sponsored geofilters and lenses is pretty new to the ad world. Its target market is still limited to the young generation, the main users of Snapchat. However, these ad products are so different from any other format out there that gives both brands and Snapchat a big advantage over their rivals. Cadbury successfully seized this opportunity and became the pioneer in Snapchat ad word. I am not sure how these ad products will become in the near future, but I believe these sponsored geofilters and lenses are effective advertising methods for the brands, whose target customers are among Snapchat’s users.

Okay, thank you for your time and stay happy! 💃🏻