Last weekend’s privacy scare plunged Snapchat once again into the media spotlight. While the controversy is unlikely to stop most of the app’s millennial devotees, it highlights how little most people know about how Snapchat works.

Even brands continue to experiment with the platform without a consistent strategy. Here are a few of the more unusual campaigns that retailers have used to attract Snapchat’s 100 million daily users:

Hollister targeted high schoolers with geofilters. The brand rolled out a sponsored geofilter reading “Friday Vibes” which could be used at 19,000 schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Result: Teens did mention the geofilter on social media– but the vibes weren’t as good as the retailer might hope. As one teen tweeted: “The Hollister snapchat filter is almost as depressing as the fact that people wear Hollister.”

Sephora organized a Snapchat Sweepstakes. Participants snapped a selfie and used the Snapchat drawing tool to add cartoon eyebrows. Then they uploaded those submissions to Instagram and tagged them with #SephoraSnapsSweeps; the randomly chosen winner won a $500 gift card.

Result: The campaign boosted traffic and engagement not only on Snapchat, but also on Instagram, where the contest hashtag was used over six thousand times. Posts tagged with #SephoraSnapsSweeps garnered 10% more comments than the average Index brand.

Sephora's Snapchat campaign


H&M launched a digital “treasure hunt” in Poland. The retailer hid exclusive party tickets in its clothing stores and sent out clues via Snapchat, in what was the country’s first Snapchat marketing campaign.

Result: Only about 200 people played the game, but the positive media attention didn’t hurt. The campaign reached almost four million users and boosted H&M’s Snapchat following by almost a thousand.

For more on the social media strategies of 73 Specialty Retail brands in the U.S., download a copy of L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. [reportdownloadlinks report_post_id=”134669″]


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