Snapchat reveals revamped QR code-style Snap to Unlock advertising feature


Snapchat has recently begun to distribute marketing codes which prompt people to scan them for various promo add-ons in the app. The Snap to Unlock advertising format is the social media company’s latest innovation to entice advertisers to engage with consumers in-app.

Essentially, it lets brands create codes, which resemble logos and billboards. App users then scan them and are viewing an ad in exchange for virtual goodies. The codes utilise geofilters to do so.

Snapchat rolls out Snap to Unlock feature



Among the first clients to test the new codes is Universal Pictures with the new movie The Girl On the Train. Whilst the company told AdAge that QR codes had previously not proven successful, things with Snap codes were different. Snapchat consumers are already using them to follow each other.

Doug Neil, Executive VP of digital marketing, NBC Universal, adds:

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“Snapchat is a little more ubiquitous and kids do love the discovery aspect of the Snapcode. So this could be a bigger play there.”

Snap codes have already been used by other brands including Sprite. However, until now, the format had not been an actual ad product provided by Snapchat to all advertisers. That’s about to change.

Codes make sense for a wide variety of brands including retailers and entertainment businesses.

According to the social media company, codes could also feature special effects and animated options in the future.

In addition, they provide a level of measurement that’s previously not been tested on Snapchat. A scan has the potential to lead to a product purchase.

QR codes may be old news, but Snap codes are the new must-try in social media in-app advertising.