When Snapchat announced its acquisition of Bitstrips in March for a reported $100 million, marketers began to envision the Bitmoji app, which lets users create personalized avatars of themselves, as a step out of the comparatively murky waters of advertising on the social platform. Last week, Snapchat rolled out the update to its more than 150 million daily users.
Snapchat, which historically has been bereft of segmentable targeting for ad buys and in-depth performance measurement, appears to be coming around to the brands vying to target their youthful demographic. In June, Snapchat added Moat, a third-party measurement tool for tracking metrics and analytics surrounding video advertising. Additionally, Snapchat lowered the minimum pricing for its API, giving more advertisers accessibility to marketing on the platform.
Until now, brands have struggled to get their emojis on smartphones with the Unicode Consortium ban of commercial content on its keyboard.
This update gives brands the opportunity to simulate an in-store experience, in-app. Fashion brands could give users the chance to try out their Fall ’16 product line via their cartoon aliases, for example.
Bitmojis capture cultural moments, trending slang and style in a cartoon version of yourself. If teens, Snapchat’s largest and most prevalent demographic, have the chance to dress their cartoon-selves with Steve Madden boots and a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte this fall and add it to My Story on the first day back to school, Snapchat will capitalize with this unique way to sell sponsorships.
Similar to Taco Bell’s notorious Cinco De Mayo “taco head” filter, Snapchat users will have the opportunity to become part of the ad. With Bitmojis, however, this can be achieved without actually having to take an embarrassing selfie.