Is Snapchat the next big thing to communicate with Gen Z?

  • Trends
  • Digital
Lauren Fletcher Related reads

According to Ad Week, Snapchat has more than 100 million active users and attracts 10 billion video views per day, enabling it to overtake other social networks as the primary way young people communicate.

45% of Snapchat’s users are between 18 and 24, while this demographic represents just 16% of Facebook’s user base. As a result, organisations using Snapchat to attract the next generation to enter the workplace has increased over the past few months with companies such as Nationwide claiming that ‘sometimes brands can do more with a Snapchat geofilter than a 90-second TV ad’.

Snapchat can be more impactful at targeting millennials than costly above-the-line campaigns. This was seen when Nationwide recently launched a bespoke filter to target students getting their A-Level results.

The activity follows the launch of Nationwide’s own bespoke YouTube channel ‘Money Stuff’ last year, where vloggers such as TomSka and Emmar Blackery gave advice to 14-18 year olds about their finances.

According to Alex Bennett, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Nationwide, the Money Stuff campaign created a 15% increase in brand awareness and a positive sentiment score of 99% among its target audience. Nationwide also managed to reduce its cost per hire from £3,000 to £69.

Evolve or dissolve

With many brands now moving their spending towards Snapchat and leaving more traditional social channels behind, there are still many who are “running the risk of being ‘out-of-touch’" says Alex Bennett, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Nationwide to Marketing Week recently.

“Too many brands are doing a bad job speaking to this audience,” he adds. “They are either not launching bespoke campaigns on social channels or stepping into having a dialogue with the next generation without thinking through what they actually want to say and it can come across as out-of-touch”.

It isn’t unusual for financial services brands to launch cinematic campaigns showing the consumer life journey from student to parent. However, Bennett says this approach isn’t necessarily what a Millennial or student audience wants to see.

He concludes: “You could put out a beautiful piece of filmic content that is 90 seconds long and talks about the journey from student through to adulthood and even retirement. But this audience would prefer bite-size content so if you get the creative right, you can potentially do as much with a Snapchat filter as a 90 second film.”

Whilst the future remains unknown, Snapchat’s place at the forefront of effective communication with Gen Z certainly appears to be working. Overall the platform is providing brands with the opportunity to creatively engage with the next generation at an early stage and in a less intrusive way.


Lauren Fletcher

Junior Account Executive, Employee

Lauren graduated from Newcastle University in 2016 with a First Class degree in Business Marketing and Management. She re-joins MSLGROUP in the Employee practice working on some of its biggest clients after a six month internship during her year in industry.

more articles by Lauren Fletcher

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