Once you take a photo in Snapchat, you have the option to swipe to the right to cycle through a series of "filters" that you can add to your photo before you send it to someone or post it to your "story" on Snapchat. These filters include things like your location, the time of day, the outside temperature and, interestingly, the speed in MPH you are currently traveling! (Along with a warning not to "snap and drive!)
One of those filters here in Keene, New Hampshire, (and I'm assuming this is active for all Snapchat users in New Hampshire) lets you add in an image about Bernie Sanders:
Once you've done that you can then make other changes to the photo before sending it on to another Snapchat user (or users) or posting it to your "Story". It also adds a "Bernie" campaign logo to the top of your image.
At first I was puzzled about whether this was an ad or something coming from Snapchat itself (which I thought would be bizarre) but then when I tried it myself I noticed that for a brief moment the word "SPONSORED" appears when you are applying the filter:
And of course when you look closer you see in the brown part on the bottom:
GEOFILTER PAID FOR BY BERNIE 2016 (not the billionaires)
... leaving no doubt that this was an ad from the campaign.
In playing more with the filters, I've seen no sign of ads from any other candidates.
It's quite clever in that yesterday it said "2 DAYS TO GO!" and today it says "1 DAY TO GO!" I'm going to guess that tomorrow there will be something about "today is the day".
Here's what the full image looks like when posted in Snapchat (the actual image is just of a street in downtown Keene ... but notice the Bernie logo on the top and the image on the bottom):
Presumably Snapchatters more creative than I am could take selfies or other photos that make better use of the Bernie filter. :-)
Kudos to the Sanders team for trying something like this. In this year's NH Presidential Primary, we've seen a HUGE amount of social media usage... but so far this is the first I've seen of Snapchat usage.
I would be curious to know, of course, if there are any stats to find out how many Snapchatters actually used the filter ... but I'm not sure how you ever would get that info. (Presumably Snapchat can deliver that info back to the ad purchaser, in this case the Sanders campaign.)
I suspect if this is successful we'll see more usage in the upcoming primaries. The use of "geofiltering" to restrict the filter availability is also intereseting as it allows the campaigns to limit their spending and also very specifically target their messages.
I should note that in order to use this filter, I had to turn on Location Services for Snapchat on my iPhone. I had not done so as I honestly don't use Snapchat all that much... but once I did I then had these filters.
Have any of you reading this seen Snapchat usage by other campaigns?
UPDATE - 9 Feb 2016: And here's what the Snapchat filter looks like on Primary Day itself: