Snapchat Geofilters Get Political

Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton used Snapchat’s targeted geofilter ads to invade the last night of the Republican National Convention.

The social media team for presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President Hillary Clinton began experimenting with Snapchat geofilters on the last night of the Republican convention, suggesting the opening of a new front for the candidates as the election season moves into its next phase.

Clinton’s Geofilter “trolling” on the night of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump was noticed by Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners’ Social Media Director Jenny Shaab Marder in a tweet (reported by New York magazine’s tech blog, Select/All).

Hillary's Geoilter tweeted out by Jenny Shaab Marder
Hillary’s Geoilter tweeted out by Jenny Shaab Marder

Select/All’s Madison Malone Kircher also pointed out that this wasn’t Snapchat’s first use by a campaign this year. During the primaries, Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders used Snapchat to promote get-out-the-vote efforts in New York featuring a filter showing an illustration of their candidate posing with the Statue of Liberty.

In the leadup to the Thursday night’s Clinton use of an old Trump quote on its Geofilter, Recode has noted that the Democratic candidate had been targeting Geofilters in the Cleveland area around the Republican National Convention all week.

Snapchat’s Geofilters, which were unveiled almost two years ago, allow users to add a “dynamic” illustration highlighting the location from which the image is being shared. The company began offering custom Geofilters to sponsors in February and the recent billboard campaign was intended to highlight the creative ways marketers and users can “own” the creativity of specific areas.

Not Just A Gimmick

While it would be easy to dismiss the use of Geofilters in a political context as a mere gimmick, considering the fact that major brands such as Starbucks, Chevrolet, and Wendy’s see Snapchat as an increasingly crucial connection point to reach Millennials — on top of a range of social media offerings, including Facebook and Instagram, as well as Twitter — the value is more than just attention-getter among technophiles and a few younger voters.

The numbers from various analysts show that a sizable 30 percent of Millennials are on Snapchat daily, according to stats from analyst group DMR. But beyond that, the platform’s time-sensitivity is what makes it uniquely appealing to brands. (More metrics from Snapchat are available here).

In the U.S., Snapchat claims that “a single National Sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40 percent to 60 percent of daily Snapchatters.”

To be sure, the ability to target a competitor’s geographical area in a high-profile way is bound to make Snapchat an increasingly crowded venue for all kinds of marketing messages, political as well as commercial.