If you use Snapchat to take a selfie this weekend, there's a good chance that you'll also see an eyeliner ad. On Saturday, L'Oréal Paris is running the first Snapchat lens ad for a beauty brand to promote its Infallible Silkissime eyeliner.
Similar to Snapchat's other lenses, users can add a sponsored graphic by using the app to take a front-facing photo. L'Oréal's graphic applies eyeliner in the shape of a cat eye, mascara, foundation, blush and a lip color to selfies. And when the app detects that someone has raised their eyebrows, camera lights flash around the person before the L'Oréal logo pops up with a heart next to it.
The lens was designed in-house, and L'Oréal worked directly with Snapchat on the campaign. Helping brands design the 24-hour ad format—and bypassing agencies—seems to be key in how Snapchat is pitching the pricey ad unit to marketers. Taco Bell also teamed up with Snapchat's creative team to design its Cinco de Mayo campaign that went on to be viewed 224 million times in 24 hours.
Adweek has previously reported that Snapchat lenses cost $450,000 and can total $750,000 for big-ticket days like holidays or events.
"Over the last year, we've been focusing heavily on Snapchat as we recognize that this social media platform serves as a tool to engage the millennial audience and is an entirely new storytelling format that is relevant to all audiences," said Kristen Comings, vp of integrated consumer communications at L'Oréal Paris. "We chose to launch it over the weekend because we know that the weekend is when the bulk of lens usage happens, and we want to capitalize on the playfulness of Snapchatters."
Comings added that her team has seen the most success with Snapchat over the past 12 months when the brand posted behind-the-scenes footage with spokesmodels and influencers like Karlie Kloss. L'Oréal Paris' account recently followed the supermodel to watch her prep for the Cannes Film Festival, for example.
How-to videos and a global perspective also work well. "We see a high story retention rate for tutorials, product announcements and content that is whimsical in nature," Comings added. "We've tested many stories that infuse makeup and hair into international and national travel and lifestyle."