The Best Snapchat Ads We’ve Seen

Since its release in 2011, Snapchat has become one of the most frequently used social apps in the world. In January 2022, the statistics revealed that the American company is now the 12th most popular social media platform, with around 557 million people using the app on a monthly basis.

It could be argued that Snapchat was actually at the forefront of the short form video craze in social media, with companies such as Vine, Instagram and of course, TikTok, following suit.

While the latter two aforementioned social apps have now overtaken Snapchat in popularity, the company continues to grow its user base exponentially. This makes it an interesting and potentially profitable place for marketers.

According to data from Hootsuite, search demand for keywords related to Snapchat for business have been significantly growing year-on-year. One example is the search prevalence of the phrase ‘Snapchat ads’. This has grown nearly 50% year-on-year since its inception and shows no signs of slowing down.

Snapchat’s advertising capabilities are significant, as they offer full-funnel solutions for businesses of all sizes looking to advertise to Snapchat users.

The advanced targeting capabilities will help businesses connect with Snapchat users who are actively seeking the goods and services that they are offering. Snapchat also has an unrivalled number of ad formats, from single image and video ads, to commercials, filters and even AR experiences.

What Makes A Good Snapchat Ad?

With such an interesting range of formats on offer, it can be difficult to know how to generate the most effective advertisement. Its important to consider which format will best suit your requirements.

The most commonly used format is the Snap Ad. These hyper-short ads include branded graphics, a CTA and a link to an external page. These are very effective if you have a limited budget to work with and if you want the customer to click-through to a sales page. This format is quick, punchy, and effective for customer engagement.

Story Ads can be used as a format when you want customers to understand a little more about what you are offering. This allows for more explanatory content and can help engage the user to view a collection of ads that your business have created.

AR Lenses are a popular feature of Snapchat and are a very unique way of advertising. These ‘lenses’ either recognise the users face and transform it into a branded filter or changes the surrounding environment of the user. This is a highly shareable ad format and will ensure significant outreach.

There are a number of other formats which can be used to advertise on Snapchat but the three above are the most popular, and the most historically effective.

A good Snapchat ad should above all, work for the goals of your campaign. We have selected a few Snapchat ad examples from global brands, that proved highly popular with the user and highly successful for the company.


To launch their ‘New Bigger Better’ campaign in Europe, pizza takeout service chain Dominos used Snap Ads and Filters to great success.

This two-pronged approach worked effectively, using the Snap Ad to create a short, comedic commercial, plus an interactive filter allowing the user to decorate their Snap and share with friends.

The data showed that in Norway alone, the campaign reached more than 800,000 unique Snapchat users and drove conversions by linking to the company website via the Snap Ad format.


With the goal of increasing brand awareness to millennials in Germany, spirit company Bacardi, made strong use of both Lenses and Snap Ads for their targeted campaign.

They used two lens designs; one that could be used globally which included the campaign slogan and the company logo, the other an Always-On filter which picked up the user’s geo-location allowing them to send personalised, Bacardi branded snaps to their friends.

The Snap Ad was a punchy six seconds long and utilised a modern video edit with the key campaign tagline at the forefront of the design.

Game Of Thrones

This sensational advertising campaign for the final season of popular HBO television show Game Of Thrones, utilised AR Lenses to create unique and highly shareable content.

Using Snapchat’s World Lens Augmented Reality, the ad allowed the user to take a video, which was manipulated to show a graphic of a dragon character from the show, landing on real nearby locations.

This popular ad campaign was shared internationally by users and still stands as one of the most impressive uses of Snapchat’s versatile ad formats that we have ever seen. 


Popular streaming service Netflix used a highly targeted approach for their ‘Gilmore Girls’ campaign, to advertise the return of the beloved television show.

The company distributed a limited number of themed coffee cups to users, each with a scannable QR code. This code allowed those who received the product to take a snap with a ‘Gilmore Girls’ branded filter.

This cleverly played upon an already established fandom to create a viral advertisement that was shared widely with fans of the show.


Much like Game Of Thrones, beauty brand Sephora used AR to create a ‘game’ campaign. With AR versions of their products falling from the top of the screen to the bottom, users could select which of these products to put into a ‘shopping bag’. Once the game was completed, a discount code was shown to the user, alongside a CTA button which linked directly to the website.

The user’s real shopping basket was then full of the products they had selected in the game, with the discount code automatically applied.

This clever use of Snapchat’s AR Lens allowed Sephora to create a truly interactive experience, which delivered a high engagement and subsequently, a high click-thru rate to their website.


Airline booking app Hopper heavily utilised geo-targeting to create a personalised Snap Ad for users.

The company pinpointed Snapchat users who lived in the vicinity of specific Airports. The Snap Ad then displayed relevant flight deals from this airport to try and convince customers to click-through to the offer on their website.

While their six-second ad is extremely simple, their clever use of location targeting paid off, with Hopper reporting a 4x increase in flight booking rate during the campaign.

Top Hatter

Auction based shopping app Top Hatter were keen to increase the number of app installs and in turn generate more sales.

To do this, they created very simple Snap Ads utilising UGC (user generated content) which continues to prove a very successful marketing tool on social apps.

Ranging from 20-60 seconds in duration, the ads showed customers talking through their shopping experience and explaining how the app works, alongside a CTA to download the Top Hatter app itself.

This campaign proved extremely successful, with the company reporting a +125% Return on Ad Spend.

e.l.f Cosmetics

American cosmetics brand e.l.f Cosmetics targeted this campaign at Snapchat’s core user demographic; Millennials, and Gen Z.

This six second advert packed a serious punch with loud, upbeat music, a burst of colour and a strong tagline that utilised lexicon familiar with the target audience.

The advert saw e.l.f gain a 20% increase in site visits, proving that with the right content, a long, explanatory advertisement is simply not needed on Snapchat.


Much like e.l.f, fast food chain Subway were keen to target a younger demographic through their campaign to launch a new sandwich on their menu.

Using animated emoji’s, a close-up of the products and a fast-paced hit of music, the six second commercial was highly successful.

The Subway campaign saw an increase in brand reach by over 25% and proved immensely popular amongst the target audience.

Get Started On Snapchat Ad Campaigns With Insights From Replai

While the number of ad format variations available on Snapchat is exciting, it can also be overwhelming to know where to start, especially in a highly competitive market.

Significant analysis should be considered first to ensure at the very least, a strong return on ad spend for your campaign. That is why companies like Replai have helped hundreds of brands get started with their Snapchat Ad campaigns.

Using their AI-powered video analysis, Replai deconstructs video into core components and evaluates associated performance metrics. This helps creative teams to understand which elements of a video creative are trending, what may need to be removed, or what may need to be added.

The need for Replai is particularly important in 2022, especially with so much competition and so many social channels to utilise for new ad campaigns. To help their clients achieve success, Replai combines highly relevant data with the creativity of their team.

If you are looking to understand how to improve your creative performance on Snapchat, or any other social channel, contact our sales or support team, we are here to help.