In Case You Missed It – What’s New In SnapChat Ads


We’ve done a quick round up of some of the newer things in SnapChat ads. And how they could be incorporated into digital advertising for educational institutions. Although they are not brand new just in case you’re out of the loop, here’s a catch up:

SnapChat Collection Ads

The SnapChat ‘Collection’ is one of a range of updates that came out of SnapChat late last year. The ‘Collection’ ad is a single advert that showcases multiple products in a catalogue style format. An individual can then select the specific product they are interested in out of the selection. SnapChat calls them a ‘Top Snap with 4 tappable tiles’. These are very similar to the carousel ads now commonly seen on Facebook.

The feature was designed with e-commerce in mind and has various additional features like auto-populating content from your shops’ internal catalogue. Since becoming available in October 2018, this new type of ad has already seen retailers getting great results. Engagement can increase from anywhere between 1.4x to 7x a normal SnapAd, and eBay found their engagement has risen by 5x.

Whilst this is all very interesting, surely it’s not relevant to the education sector? We sell services, not products, and there is no catalogue to auto-populate from. So why should universities care?

Whilst a university may not have a range of products on offer, they do have a range of courses. One option could be for a university to list different courses in each of the tiles. This could be split very generally e.g. Humanities and Sciences, or become far more niche dependent on the kind of campaign you were running. For example, if you offer multiple kinds of business courses, you could now easily showcase them all in one ad. The same goes for a course with multiple options such as a two-year programme, year in industry or masters included.

This is a great way to target people who will have a variety of interests and may not know if they want to do Business with Marketing or Business with Entrepreneurship yet. And it’s excellent for campaigns on a small budget that cannot afford to split their advertising by each course on offer.

SnapChat Voice Activated Ads

SnapChat and Warner Bros have partnered to bring the world the first promoted voice activated lens, specifically designed to showcase their movie Shazam which is released April 5th. The lens is activated by Shazam’s catchphrase ‘Ok, Shazam!’ and places his icon super suit on the user. Users can gain access to the lens by scanning the Snapcodes on the movie posters. This could mark the start of a brand new kind of advertising on SnapChat that may become available to more companies over time.

Whilst this was the first foray into a promotional voice lens. SnapChat has had sound-responsive ads for a while. The first launched in May 2018 and featured some panda ears that changed with a tone of voice/level of sound.

The first sound-responsive lens was launched in May 2018 and featured some panda ears that changed with a tone of voice/level of sound.

Whilst this may be the first foray into a promotional voice activated lens, SnapChat has been playing with sound-responsive ads for a while. The first sound-responsive lens was launched in May 2018 and featured some panda ears that grew and shrink related to the tone of voice/level of sound in the area.

Snapchat then progressed to lens activated by a specific phrase. This was first launched in August 2018 and now appears on a variety of different kinds of lenses. Activation was based on a collection of basic words such as ‘Hi’, ‘Wow’ or ‘Love’ and each would provoke a different reaction from the lens. This has been rolled out slowly over a range of different locations, with mixed reports from users about how well the platform can recognise words. Currently, the trigger words are also in English and there is no information about how well they cope with a range of accents.

It’s early days for the SnapChat promoted voice-activated lens but voice activation may become the new geo-filter of the future for smaller brands. The need for a Snapcode could make for some interesting differences between the two. Users need a way to access this, which is fine on a movie poster but may limit its range for other industries. It’s hard to see how exactly the education industry would take advantage of this. Maybe it won’t be long before acceptance letters come with a Snapcode for the new voice-activated ‘Accepted’ lens for candidates? Only time will tell.

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