Snapchat Filters

Dave Goldhahn

In early 2016 Snapchat rolled out On-Demand Geofilters which allow any Snapchat user to create and design their own filters for specific events. The user can customize the location and duration of the filter for a price. This simple innovation produced a huge opportunity for all Snapchat users, but especially to those in the marketing & music industry. As a designer, this initiated a new challenge – how can you create a compelling design that furthers a brand while staying within Snapchat’s submission rules and guidelines? (Because yes, of course there’s rules and guidelines). We quickly discovered ways to keep it interesting…

At Marbaloo, we began using this feature almost immediately. Cole Swindell had a massive hit on his hands (You Should Be Here) and a big sophomore album release on the horizon – He also had a huge Spring Break concert coming up. We got to work instantly and created a Snapchat Geofilter around the venue that promoted the single while also giving fans a fun way to interact – A Cole Swindell hat that they would look like they were wearing while taking a selfie. People love selfies and this gave them a fun way to share their Spring Break experience with followers who were unable to attend the event while also furthering Cole’s brand. After the success of this one, we continued coming up with new creations for Cole for things like Grand Ole Opry appearances and album release parties. 

Since the launch, we’ve went on to create them for many other artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Toby Keith, Olivia Lane and more. For Kelsea, we created a unique filter for each of her summer tour dates that would appear in the app while fans were attending the show. For Toby, we targeted country concerts at venues that Toby would be playing in the coming weeks/months to boost interest and ticket sales for his show. For Olivia, we created a filter for her EP release party that had a speech bubble that made it look like users were singing the lead single, while EP promotion and branding was placed at the bottom.

Marbaloo actually took advantage of this feature before it was even a public feature. For Luke Bryan’s final Spring Break in 2015, we connected with Snapchat to initiate a “Luke Bryan: Spring Break Certified” stamp filter that was implemented during his shows in Panama City Beach, FL. It seems we were onto something a year before it’s official public launch!

We even created one for our boss and fearless leader’s birthday party. Faithe had no idea it was created until the day of the party so it was a fun surprise for her and everyone attending!

Overall, the ability to create custom filters has breathed new life into the marketing and music industries. It allows brands to be promoted in a new way. It allows brands to be spontaneous and exciting. It allows brands to reach a new, untapped audience. Most exciting of all (for me atlas), is being challenged as a designer to make filters that standout amongst a sea of them and garnering the attention of consumers in this ever-changing digital age.