Snapchat debuted Lenses in September 2015 as a set of filters that would respond to a user’s facial movements, adding sounds and interactive motion effects to video selfies. Since then, it has been reported that as many as 30 million snaps each day are decorated with lenses. Many of these include sponsored lenses, which are one of the most premium types of ads available from Snapchat, enabling advertisers to build branded experiences they can share with their friends.
To date, Snapchat has run more than 100 sponsored lenses, with lots of brands buying them up, and it seems like every day we’re being asked by clients for great examples of sponsored filters. So today we have created a list of the top 10 sponsored lenses to date.
Now it’s no secret that Snapchat advertising analytics are a secret as closely guarded as the Holy Grail but it is possible to find examples online. We used all the examples we could find in the form of case studies or PR articles for our analysis.
So with public statistics, press articles and our own personal opinions mashed up into a magical (and not-so scientific) formula, we now present THE TOP TEN BEST SNAPCHAT SPONSORED LENSES OF ALL TIME!
The Peanuts Movie was the first brand to sponsor a Snapchat Lens. It was undoubtably trying to copy the viral success of the rainbow throw up lens as the Peanuts Movie theme song played while an endless stream of candy corn poured out of the user’s mouth. While certainly not our favorite lens, the very first sponsored lens of all time deserves a place on this list for being the ultimate brand icebreaker.
Apple’s Beats, like Peanuts, is on the list for the being one of the firsts to run a Sponsored Lens. In this case, the first consumer brand to purchase a Snapchat lens. When people used the filter they saw Beats headphones appear on their head and Drake’s “Big Rings” song would begin to play in the background. The Lens appeared right before Black Friday in 2015 an effort to spur sales for the product.
Hailed as the first beauty brand to run a Snapchat lens, L’Oreal allowed people to see what they would look like while wearing makeup. After taking a selfie, users could add eyeliner, mascara, foundation, blush, and lip color. Furthermore, the campaign did an amazing job of picking up press in nearly every single fashion/makeup publication and blog online.
USA USA USA!! While not the first alcohol brand to run a sponsored lens, Budweiser’s sponsored Snapchat lens was the first of its kind for a beer brand, and its inclusion showed a marked change in demographic among targeted users. Tying into their “America” campaign, which included changing the name of their beer, the lens turned your selfies into a virtual Uncle Sam, complete with top hat and goatee.
6. Malibu Rum
The hardest I’ve ever laughed at Snapchat was watching my friends grandma use the Malibu Rum lens.
Launched on Memorial Day weekend, Malibu became the first spirit company to use a sponsored lens and featured an exploding pineapple head to help usher in the summer season. After Memorial Day other alcohol companies like Budweiser quickly rolled out their own sponsored lenses.
After being away from TV for nearly four months, Fox ran a sponsored lens campaign in March to promote the second half of its show Empire. The Lens overlaid a pair of headphones and sunglasses over the user’s face, played a backing track and transported them to a “virtual music studio,” where they could lay down vocals.
The lenses were viewed more than 65 Million times, users spent on average 20 seconds playing with them, and Snapchat reported that they boosted brand awareness by 16 points.
What was unique about the X-Men apocalypse takeover was not only did they sponsor nine lenses, but they made sure all of the other lenses were gone as well. Dubbed a “Lens Takeover,” for 24 hours the only lenses you could use were X-Men themes. Yes that’s right – you couldn’t even use the rainbow vomit or the dog licking lens. Although it bothered some, the lens takeover was an impressive effort, the first of its kind and generated significant press.
This sunglass giant created a lens that virtually allowed consumers to try on a pair of Kendall II sunglasses, styled after Kendall Jenner. What we like about this is that it allowed people to try on three different colors to see how they might look while wearing them with only subtle branding in the bottom left. The company also was adamant about tying their Snapchat activities to sales. Following the campaign, Luxury Daily reported the Michael Kors Snapchat lens was viewed over 104 million times. This high visibility translated to an 18% increase in ad awareness and a 6% lift in purchase intent.
You’ve probably seen the iconic image of a coach or athlete getting the Gatorade shower after a big win. Introduced at Super Bowl 50, they brought that same experience to Snapchat, letting users dunk their own virtual cooler full of Gatorade over top of another person’s selfies.
We like records, and while this one was ultimately broken as the most viewed filter by our #1 pick, Gatorade set the standard for Snapchat sponsored lenses this year. Introduced for Super Bowl 50, this lens received more than 160 million impressions-surpassing the 115 million viewers who actually watched the game. Users interacted with the Super Bowl Lens for an average of 30-seconds.
1. Taco Bell
Our number one Sponsored lens goes to Taco Bell. For Cinco de Mayo, the company sponsored a lens that simply put, turned a user’s head into a giant taco shell.
The lens set a record by being viewed 224 million times, and the average user played with it for around 24-seconds before sending it on to their friends, Adweek reported. It was also named as the top campaign in the app’s entire history (to date).
Putting aside the fact that turning someone’s head into a Taco is funniest idea ever, the execution of the lens was flawless. Unlike some lenses, it didn’t seem rushed, the details were amazing and it worked seamlessly on anyone you pointed the camera on (including animals). For these reasons, we rank Taco Bell as the number one Sponsored Snapchat lens to date.
If you liked this post, check out our list of 23 Brands Using Snapchat Geofilters