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Is Snapchat Social Media? A Look into Snapchat’s Early 2024 Advertising Campaign

Categories: 
Author
Allison Andres
Published
July 3, 2024

If you’ve passed by one of the billboards – shown above – or have seen the television commercial that reads “Less social media, more Snapchat,” and made a skeptical face, you’re not alone. 

In an *interesting* move in February of 2024, Snapchat launched a fresh advertising campaign that bypassed traditional digital channels in favor of billboards and television spots. 

The tagline “Less social media, more Snapchat” encapsulated a deliberate effort to redefine its brand identity. But is Snapchat truly just another social media platform? Let’s find out.

Redefining Snapchat: Beyond Social Media

Snapchat, traditionally seen as a social media giant, pivoted with this campaign to position itself as more than just a digital app. 

This video spot was launched around the time of the Super Bowl and now has over 72 million views. The description of the video reads, “On Snapchat there’s less of the things you don’t like about social media and more of the things you love about sharing bits of your funny, messy, exciting, boring, beautiful, heartbreaking, crazy and real life with the people who matter most to you. https://www.MoreSnapchat.com” 

We’ll just say it – it’s a really bold move to be a literal social media platform (and one of the fastest-growing in history at that) and imply that you’re not a social media platform. 

Navigating Social Media’s Reputation

Social media platforms have increasingly faced criticism for issues such as data privacy, misinformation, and addictive behaviors. 

By distancing itself from negative perceptions associated with digital platforms, Snapchat may attract younger demographics seeking privacy and more short-lived content experiences.

Platforms like Facebook and TikTok have struggled with public trust due to data breaches and algorithm controversies. 

Snapchat hasn’t had the greatest reputation either, with many users calling out its potentially dangerous aspects. 

@youthpastorryan

No platform is safe for this but imo @snapchat is impressively bad. Stay safe out there.

♬ original sound – Ryan Kelly

And with full-on research studies now showing links between social media use and mental health issues in teens, Snapchat’s campaign seemed to intentionally try to distance itself from these rising concerns. 

But in this campaign, Snapchat is claiming they are the “good” social media, but not providing any evidence to how they protect from the “bad” side. This left some observers – even outside the realm of social media expertise – confused and frustrated about the campaign’s effectiveness. 

Effectiveness of Non-Digital Messaging

In addition to the ads’ messaging, Snapchat’s shift to non-digital mediums also suggests a rebranding effort.

This move aims to capture the attention of a broader audience beyond its core digital user base.

For example, while Facebook and Instagram dominate the digital ad space with targeted ads based on user data, Snapchat’s approach with billboards and TV spots tried to appeal to a wider demographic that may not engage with social media as frequently. 

By appearing in physical spaces, Snapchat enhances its brand visibility and reinforces its presence in the minds of potential users who might not be active on digital platforms.

The effectiveness of Snapchat’s non-digital strategy hinges on its ability to transcend the digital noise and reach consumers in tangible, real-world settings. 

For instance, Snapchat’s billboards in high-traffic areas and TV commercials during popular shows – and even the Super Bowl – target audiences when they are not actively browsing social media.

Success in Cross-Medium Advertising

The question remains: Can social media brands effectively use non-digital advertising? Snapchat’s campaign serves as a test case.

 By diversifying its marketing mix to include billboards and TV ads, Snapchat not only broadens its reach but also explores the effectiveness of cross-medium strategies. 

While we can’t see the internal numbers to prove the effectiveness of this campaign, we can definitely admit it got a lot of attention. Maybe that’s all they were going for, at the end of the day. 

As social media platforms redefine their roles in the digital age, Snapchat’s different approach may pave the way – for better or worse – for others seeking to redefine their identities. 

How will social platforms continue to evolve their branding amid the growing concerns about social media safety? We’ll be here to watch it all go down. 

Looking for more guidance on handling social media marketing for your brand? Reach out to our team below to get started.

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