Before puppy tongue lenses, 3D Bitmoji, and voice changing features became standard on Snapchat, there were geofilters. After users took a snap, they swiped left or right on the screen to select one of the fun digital “frames”—the geofilters—to spruce it up. They are (appropriately) named geofilters because they are location specific, calling out “I’m in Times Square,” “I’m on campus,” “I’m shopping here,” etc.
As Snapchat has evolved, geofilters have followed suit. Most important, they have become easier for brands to implement.
Anyone from kids to marketers can create and buy on-demand geofilters. These temporary placements have become the most popular way to implement the feature, and since users can even design them within the Snapchat app itself, they might also be the easiest. Think birthday party and wedding geofilters. These geofilters typically don’t cost too much—if you keep the geofenced area small. They can, however, cover a maximum area slightly larger than Central Park.
At Likeable Media, we ran a geofilter around our office building for two hours and it only cost $5.
These are for power users and big brands with large budgets. The potential to cover a larger area obviously means more exposure, but it also means (much) higher costs.
Savvy brands, such as the shoe brand Vans, have found success by running a combination of both on-demand and national geofilters.
They recently released a case study of a campaign they ran to celebrate the company’s half-century anniversary: “50 years of ‘Off The Wall’ Heritage and Creative Expression.” The brand ran on-demand filters in key locations that were tied to its history, while national geofilters ran simultaneously in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The campaign was a resounding success. The filters reached 32 million people, accumulated 98 million views, and gave the brand a 29-point increase in ad recall, 20-point increase in brand favorability, and 37% lift in purchase intent (according to Millward Brown Digital Audience Insights and Brand Lift Insights).
Popular video game Fallout 4 took a different approach and chose to run a national geofilter on Black Friday. They garnered over 82 million views in just one day, which also happens to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
For a platform that offers ad units (Sponsored Lenses) costing upwards of $500,000 for a one day flight, Snapchat has made its geofilters a surprisingly affordable and easy option for brands to have a presence on the network, especially those who want to find a way to activate digitally around their brick-and-mortar stores.