Why Spectre was spot on with Snapchat

James Bond, you’d imagine, isn’t a great user of social media. The team behind Spectre, on the other hand, have come up with one of the best uses of Snapchat I’ve seen from a marketing team to date.

To coincide with the launch of the 24th film in the Bond franchise, the Spectre team purchased a spot in Snapchat’s Discover section for 24 hours, complete with behind-the-scenes content, cast interviews, pictures and more. The content was specifically created for Snapchat.

 Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

And that’s perhaps why Spectre feels like it’s shown the way when it comes to other marketers on Snapchat. The content is timely and relevant, it works perfectly to whet the appetite for those who haven’t yet seen the film, it’s exclusive, it reaches a slightly different audience than traditional media, and crucially, it’s simple and gives people a reason to visit Snapchat. What’s more, they’ve not tried to shoehorn in content meant for other channels.

A few caveats here. Becoming the first brand to purchase a sponsored spot in the Discover tab won’t have come cheap (although may have been small change in the overall Spectre marketing budget).

Secondly, not every brand will have such a rich array of exclusive content it can spare for a platform where people are still working out what success actually looks like.

Finally, in a platform that is notoriously difficult to set objectives and measurables for, the overall goal of getting super-excited by giving them a compelling reason to engage with and interact with some really cool stuff is perfect for a big budget Hollywood film.

Plenty of brands are still working out how best to utilise the platform. There some nice examples here - Heineken and Audi’s efforts are both quite interesting, and Southampton FC have always seemed willing to experiment with Snapchat. Others I’ve seen have been slightly mixed and have a feel of “we probably should do something here but we’re not sure what.”

Spectre definitely feels like it understood how Snapchat worked and what it wanted to get out of it. That doesn’t mean that every marketer should be leaping on that platform - regardless of clickbait articles screaming that if you’re not on Snapchat you’re probably going to kill your brand.

For me, Snapchat still feels like it’s working out it’s direction and - caveated hyperbole alert - has the potential to be a game changer (I say potential, as while it's clear a lot of people are getting very excited about Snapchat, there's still a question over widespread adoption). Who, for example, would have thought that Snapchat would be challenging established companies as a journalistic platform? 

It’s a fascinating space to play in, although won’t be the answer for every company. The spectre of spending thousands of pounds without ever quite being clear of what you're looking for looms large. There aren't necessarily right answers for anyone experimenting on Snapchat, but there are certainly wrong ones.

Unless you’re James Bond. But then James Bond can get away with destroying entire streets in Mexico