Case Study: Paris turns to Snapchat to engage Millennials

In her 2015 presidency campaign, Île-de-France’s President Valérie Pécresse vowed to reposition the Paris region as a hub for digital and technical innovation and deliver on a promise to transform it into a smart Region.

An important strand has also been the need to engage with the younger population through digital initiatives. This project also aligns with French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to transform France into a “startup nation”, by making innovation a key element of his government’s agenda.

The problem was where to start. With a growing number of social media channels to choose from, which would be the right path to take? To help formulate its strategy, the region partnered with digital innovation agency IRM. Together it was agreed that Paris Fashion Week would be the ideal test case, and that the most appropriate channel to deliver the campaign would be Snapchat.

UKOM-approved comScore data from January 2018 shows that Snapchat continues to increase its reach with an older age group, with a reach of 89 per cent among 18-24 year olds, just a couple of points short of Facebook at 94 per cent. However, when it comes to engagement metrics, Snapchat users aged 18-24 spend on average 909 minutes per month on the platform, significantly higher than Facebook at 640 minutes. These users also account for 74 per cent of Snapchat’s total minutes.

More specifically, of the 11m Snapchatters found in France, 70 per cent are over 18, so this proved to be a sweet spot for Paris, as this global channel reaches both a young international and domestic audience. Based on these insights, IRM identified Snapchat for this campaign to help add an exciting, authentic and edgy element to Paris’ established mature image of elegance and history.

Valerie Bozzetto, joint managing director at IRM, says: “Compared to other platforms, Snapchat campaigns tend to be ‘raw’ and less polished. It is all about fun, authenticity, the ephemeral and the personal. That’s why we felt it was perfect for promoting the city and, in particular, events like Paris Fashion Week.”

The campaign trialled six different styles of Snapchat filters across the Paris region for the duration of Paris Fashion Week, combining audience filters and geofilters in an attempt to reach the maximum number of tourists and Parisians. Each filter was designed for a different state of mind or demographic – from ‘Be on the cover of a magazine’ to ‘Postcards from the city of fashion’ to fashionista sunglasses. It was vital that each creative had a clear use case behind it. IRM also ran A/B split testing and adjusted the daily budget and time of day to maximise the impact of the campaign.

Snapchat users both nationally and internationally were encouraged to share the fun, style and creativity of Paris during one of its most famous events and they did so in vast numbers. The audience filters were launched on Tuesday 27 February as Paris Fashion Week kicked off and ran every day until Monday 5 March. In total, the filters were viewed 5.7m times after being shared by Snapchatters in their Chat and Stories, generating over 200,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the geofilter was a great test across a smaller area (44,000 square feet) for the week. IRM selected the exact spot where people take their Eiffel Tower selfies with a geofilter you could only access in that precise location. Paris Tourism was also able to seed this information across its other social media channels, to drive further footfall to the physical location.

The campaign showcased how with its ephemeral nature, Snapchat can significantly engage with an audience, proving to be perfect for promoting events.

“For the first time, we created a digital campaign with Snapchat during the Paris Fashion Week and we are very proud of it, as it helped to promote Paris Region towards the fashion community,” said Christophe Decloux from the Paris Region Tourist Board. “We want to use more and more social networks to promote Paris Region – the amazing results of this campaign are very encouraging.”