Snapchat to open Australian office, hunting local MD

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 13 April 2016

Global messaging app Snapchat has set its sights firmly on the Australian market, AdNews understands.

The business, that allows users to take photos, videos, add text and drawings, and send them to recipients, is said to be looking for an MD/lead to steer the Australian ship – based out of Sydney.

While the company tells AdNews it has “nothing to share at this time”, AdNews is aware of local market conversations taking place regarding suitable candidates to step into an MD role.

Snapchat is being hailed as the next marketing playground for brands, with Burberry launching the first sponsored Story last week and sponsored filters being adopted by brands including Disney. An update earlier this month broadened the range of features Snapchat offered inclcuding messaging and phone and video calling which puts it more in line with the features already offered by Facebook.

In order to tap into the valuable millennial audience an increasing amount of brands, such as Cadbury, KFC, CommBank and Oak, have been dabbling with the platform to target their highly sought after younger audiences.

While mass examples of Australian brands using Snapchat are still thin on the ground, just last month drink brand Oak revealed it was testing a coupon as its first activity on the mobile platform. It tapped into Snapchat's short lifespan to offer a "one-second coupon" for a free Oak. All users have to do is take a screenshot of the snap and redeem the coupon.

In December confectionery giant Mondelez took a snack-size approach to its marketing, putting its Cadbury TimeOut brand on Snapchat as its aims to engage a younger demographic. The partnership saw Snapchat integrate with a consumer promotion, asking consumers to “snap” a TimeOut bar, with a $10,000 prize up for grabs.

Previously speaking to AdNews, CommBank's general manager of brand, sponsorship and marketing services, Stuart Tucker said: “It's a fast evolving platform and we look forward to growing with it.

“We are always looking for new ways to connect with our customers and Snapchat is hugely popular with our young adult customers. It allows us to offer a highly engaged audience financial hints and tips with a twist, as well as hear back direct on what they want to see from us.”

Snapchat would join other global social media giants based in Sydney such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook's Sydney office was founded in 2008 and Melbourne opened in 2009. Twitter unveil its first Australian headquarters in Sydney CBD in 2013.

The aggressive Snapchat startup, which has raised more than US$1 billion in eight funding rounds, was founded by university students, including 25-year-old Evan Spiegel, who has a net worth of US$2.1 billion.

Are you eyeing Snapchat for your next marketing move or do you have a tip-off on who you think may get the MD spot? Drop me a line at pippachambers@yaffa.com.au

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

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