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! 💃🏻



Can Snapchat Keep Leading the Way?

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had a great day on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2nd, 2017. It gained 44 percent in its debut closing at $24.48 per share, quenching a long drought in the market for tech IPOs.

Now, with Snap successfully going public, a crucial question looms: How can Snapchat keep leading the way? As a public company, Snap will inevitably come under pressure from investors to become more valuable, which not just means increasing in scale, but also demonstrating a satisfactory return on investment. So far, Snap currently generates almost all of its $404 million in revenue from advertising business. The article, Can Snapchat Show Advertisers It’s More Than a Place to Experiment?, pointed out that the growth potential of Snapchat’s advertising business is what would draw investors to the initial public offering, which was set to price on Snap’s debut. 


Building the advertising business up form nothing in about two years, Snapchat still faces several problems that have to be solved. First and foremost, most advertisers say that the Snapchat’s advertising system remains overly complicated. On the one hand, Snapchat only adopts 10-second video ads that must be shot vertically so that users can view the ads when holding a smartphone upright, since Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel has long insisted that ads must not clunk up the user experience. On the other hand,  most Snapchat ads are sold through sales representatives. Even though Snap just began to corporate with Viacom to sell its ads through the API (application programming interface), the ad-buying process is still not mature.

From my perspective, the unique advertising content is one of Snapchat’s strengths, making it different from such its rivals as Facebook. The vertical, 10-second video ads standard does force brands to spend more time and money to make at least two versions of the same ads, but it might create a surprised result. Since these brands have to re-edit their ads in order to conform to Snapchat ads standard, they usually re-edit these ads according to snapchat’s users’ preferences, greatly improving ads’ promotional effect. Some even shoot typical Snapchat video ads, and these simple and common life story episodes are more appealing to Snapchat’s users. Moreover, Snapchat did a good job in advertising content innovation. So far, there are three ad products, Snap ads, Sponsored Geofilters, Sponsored Lenses. My favorite should be sponsored lenses, a playful way to make users impressive.

I cannot deny that snapchat advertising system still has a long way to go, especially simplifying its ad-buying process, but I hold a positive attitude toward its future in advertising business, because “the content is king”.


Additionally, Snapchat needs broader reach. According to comScore, Snapchat already has about 70% of U.S. 18- to 24-year-olds and about 40% of U.S. 25- to 34-year-olds. However, the growth within that age bracket came from the small base, millennials. The slowing user growth shows that Snapchat has to find a solution to keep growing its target users after it taps out of its young age groups.

Facebook’s broad appeal across different age groups is the social network’s most brilliant feat. Even if Snapchat doesn’t want to become as ubiquitous as its main rival, Facebook, expanding its user base still requires marketing to older demographics. It’s a difficult but feasible way. In order to gain more older users, educating on how to use the app should be the primary task. As a Snapchatter, I honestly agree that Snapchat’s interface is not friendly to the older generation. For millennials, who are growing up with the development of mobile technology, learning to use a new app should be a piece of cake, while for older generation, it’s tough to figure out.

Exploring global market should be another feasible way to expand Snapchat’s user base. Snapchat does have an outstanding performance in South America, Australia and Europe, but it is struggling to take off in Asia, like China and South Korea, where Snapchat is blocked and similar social media apps perform well. Here, I won’t make a comment on why Snapchat is blocked in these countries, but what I know is Snapchat should not give up these markets, especially China. Having a great number of potential users, China’s market are the next arena for these social media.

Along with market demands changing fast, the mobile technology developing with each passing day, and the life cycle of products becoming shorter and shorter, the competition among social media enterprises become more intense. Maintaining the privileged position will be the most crucial task for Snap in the next few years.

Last but not least, keep sweet every day! 🤗