Snapchat, the ubiquitous photo-messaging app that has captured the attention of supposed ‘hard-to-reach’ millennials now allows community groups, individuals and businesses to overlay a “geofilter” enabling Snapchat users to add a brand asset to that individual's snap. The availability of a geofilter depends on the location of the individual.
The use of geofilters to build brand awareness and hone brand engagement has exploded in recent years. Some music festivals have touted Snapchat as a key reason for their increase in ticket sales. Brands and events now see geofilters as a key weapon in the marketing arsenal but with this new technology brings new challenges.
Last week, Christchurch-central Snapchatters would likely have discovered that a prominent gentleman’s club had cast its geofilter over an entire area of central Christchurch. This might well have caused some concerns for other brands that have contracted with Snapchat that have a different market profile.
Brands are now wondering – does anyone own this ‘virtual real estate’ that the geofilter ‘exists’ in? Can they exclude other brands from a defined area they want to advertise in?
It is fundamental that no one owns ‘the sky above their head’, however, new technologies such as geofilters will continue to raise new challenges for brands and it is important for businesses to structure their relationships effectively (and ensure their contracts reflect this) when considering digital marketing strategy.