Super Bowl

An Inside Look at Snapchat's Super Bowl Game Plan and Prices

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The Gatorade lens timed to the Super Bowl got 165 million views on Snapchat last year.
The Gatorade lens timed to the Super Bowl got 165 million views on Snapchat last year. Credit: Gatorade/VML

Snapchat has been offering football ad packages for the season that cost up to $5 million, according to a leaked advertising sales deck from the company.

The sales material, titled "The NFL on Snapchat," is from the start of the season, when Snapchat sealed a National Football League partnership giving the league a Discover channel and video stories from games every week.

With the season almost over, the video and messaging app is still trying to secure new advertisers for packages including the Super Bowl at a price of $3 million, one agency executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

These are expensive offerings for a digital ad player that only started taking Super Bowl marketing seriously last year. That was when Gatorade sponsored the first animated lens, which featured a virtual cooler dumping the drink on people's selfies.

The lens was viewed 165 million times and won an award the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

It's clear Snapchat is trying to parlay the success and popularity of that campaign into an even bigger ad haul this Super Bowl. There are two lenses up for sale this year, according to the pitch deck.

"They are on a ridiculous high off the Gatorade success," said one top agency exec, who works closely with Snapchat. "But they always do this, charge ridiculous rates and then right-size. Brand should wait for the fire sale."

In fact, when it first announced its content deal with the NFL, Snapchat had been whispering to advertisers that season-long packages could run as high as $7 million. The official pitch deck shows that prices were reined in.

Snapchat declined to comment for this story.

The app claims 150 million daily users, most of them young and hard to reach by traditional advertising methods.

"Snapchat is the best way to own the younger audience during the Super Bowl," said another digital agency exec, speaking anonymously because clients were considering Snapchat campaigns.

The pitch deck gives insights into some of Snapchat's most closely guarded metrics and sales figures. Here's a look at some of the numbers:

  • Advertisers can expect up to 3 million views for video ads on Snapchat during the Super Bowl. Snapchat is offering that many views to four sponsors, each getting 25% share of voice.
  • A national geofilter that runs during the game can expect between 35 million and 40 million swipes. Filters are the static images that people put on their selfies, and they play with them by swiping through the selection. Snapchat values 40 million swipes at $600,000.
  • A lens in the first position in the menu can expect between 10 million and 20 million plays, which is when someone tries them out. Snapchat estimates that to be worth $600,000.
  • A lens in the last position of the menu can expect 7 million to 12 million plays. Snapchat estimates that to be worth $400,000.
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