Will Brands Score Big with Snapchat During Super Bowl 50?

Moments in time, live event experiences, real-life, instant connection – in 2016, marketers are increasingly shifting their focus to capture the magic of real-time engagement. And this weekend, social platform, Snapchat, will seek to leverage this trend and effectively connect football fans, brands and advertisers in an array of live, user-generated stories and branded content.

For fans not quite lucky enough to be sitting in Levi’s Stadium this Sunday evening, the combination of their TV’s plus their beloved mobile devices may create equally as thrilling an experience (or close to it) – because thanks to Snapchat’s Live Story feature, they’ll be able to see the game from a multitude of unique viewpoints. This year more than ever, brands are shifting to digital in combination with, or in replacement of the traditional 30-second TV spot. But, will Snapchat be successful in helping top brands to join the nation-wide Super Bowl narrative, and make it worth the reported low seven-figure investment?

Back in September, Snapchat partnered with the NFL on Live Stories, which helped garner the attention of many young football fans. More recently, the Explorer feature added to the intrigue, allowing fans to experience more than just one or two vantage points of the most exciting moments in football games. The appeal is certainly there for the NFL, as Snapchat will help them to connect with younger fans in their preferred channel – and for advertisers, there is a crucial opportunity to weave themselves into these moments. Over the past several weeks, Snapchat has been working diligently to secure advertising placements that will be served throughout the NFL’s Super Bowl Live Story on Sunday, with Marriot, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi and Amazon among the brands confirmed. Different from last year’s strategy when it tried to lock down a Live Story sponsorship from just a single brand, Snapchat was perhaps one year wiser by going after multiple.

Snapchat definitely has the “cool” factor going for it, but the question still remains in the minds of advertisers, “Can I engage and target the right audiences on the platform?” Advertisers are certainly becoming smarter about posting the right type of content, to get the attention of an audience that’s generally disillusioned with the traditional ad. They want to be entertained, and Snapchat is a way to answer that need. But because the drop-off for the ads literally happens within the first three seconds, it’s really critical to create immediate attention-grabbing content. Another issue for advertisers is, Snapchat boasts impressive user numbers and video views, but its targeting and data capabilities are far behind Facebook – arguably the social platform of choice for advertisers at the moment.

All this being said, if Snapchat is able to achieve the right synergy of fan-generated content plus engaging ads from brands, they may strike gold during this year’s Super Bowl. We’ll be watching the Live Stories this weekend to see what brands have up their sleeves for the big game!

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