McDonalds earns Gen Z and Millennial Brand Love® Through Snapchat Marketing Campaign

Posted by: Drew Roberts

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We are all aware of the social media revolution that is taking place, specifically and more broadly, in the world of Generation Z. Generation Z is loosely defined as consumers below the age of 18, although there is no defined age range for this cohort just yet. Currently, 81 percent of Gen Z’s use at least one social media platform every day. Social media use, coupled with the modern consumer mentality to filter out traditional advertising, has lead to a shift that is changing the advertising landscape. This shift is forcing marketing professionals to ask themselves how they can adapt to new mediums in order to reach their target audiences in the most effective way possible.

While that is, and will continue to be, the million-dollar question, we have learned that Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the go-to platforms for younger audiences because it is easy to consume, interactive, and experiential. Users also do not have to spend time reading through text or creating the right message.

Pictures speak 1,000 words

Currently, 71 percent of the almost 200 million active Snapchat users are younger than 25-years-old. Advertisers have had trouble embracing the platform due to the lack of metrics available within the app. However, the Snapchat user base has grown exponentially since its inception and needs to be on the top of every marketer’s list in order to engage with Millennials and even more so with Gen Z.

snapchatFilters play a huge role in the success of the platform because it allows for the user to interact with a brand or brand message. In order to use a filter, the user snaps their picture and swipes the screen to right to view the filter options that are available, overlaying their original picture. Brands are beginning to tap into these new geo-tagging filter opportunities and are experience positive response rates from Gen Z and Millennial Snapchat users.

Recent movies like Ted 2 and Mission Impossible have capitalized on this new marketing opportunity by creating filters for users to integrate into their personal pictures. Companies like McDonalds have also integrated Snapchat filters into their product placement strategy creating an outlet for consumers to co-create a brand experience.

Transformation of social media

This new marketing strategy perfectly aligns with the evolution from text to image we have seen take shape throughout social media. Snapchat is a genuine image-based platform in the truest sense. The trend among Millennials, especially younger Millennials and Gen Z consumers, is the emphasis on the picture and less on the words. Integrating advertisements and product placements within the picture medium is a worthwhile endeavor for brand aiming to connect with an even more digitally connected generation.

Snapchat provides the advertiser with an organic viral marketing platform. Users will send their friends a picture of them using the sponsored filters and their friends will, in turn, start using the filter as well. Due to the nature of Snapchat, the filters spread like wildfire and at no extra cost for each use. However, the going rate for advertised filters is a whopping $750,000 a day. With the incredible reach the app has and its stronghold on Generation Z, the price could be worth it for brands where it makes sense to market via images.


To learn more about the Pivotal Generation and their impact on the market, download our latest research report Getting to Know Gen Z: How The Pivotal Generation is Different From Millennials.

Download the latest Gen Z research now

About Drew Roberts

Drew Roberts is a senior at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter at his school and also helps to run...See Drew's full bio.

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