Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

How Snapchat’s millennial-friendly content complements mobile ticketing

Snapchat could overtake Facebook as the must-have social platform for movie ticket sales, as evidenced by an ad for the X-Men: Apocalypse film that swipes up to purchase tickets, underscoring the photo-sharing application’s commerce-driving opportunities.

Yesterday, Snapchat users in the United States were able to toggle through the various Discover channels and encounter mobile-optimized ads for the newest installment of the X-Men franchise. At any point during the ad’s runtime, consumers could swipe upwards to be taken to Fandango mobile’s site to purchase tickets for the blockbuster movie, showcasing how relevant calls-to-action on social media have the wherewithal to fuel significant revenue for marketers in a plethora of industries.

“The tracked and quantified monetization of mobile ad units by social networks is extremely important,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce. “By engaging with millennials via the movie-themed lenses, Snapchat can prequalify the audience and then deliver a relevant call-to-action for ticket purchases.

“By prequalifying the audience in this way, the call-to-action becomes more relevant to the audience and, as a result, the conversion rate is likely higher than usual.”

Capturing the right audience
Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse film is suiting up to attract target moviegoers by establishing a strong presence on social media – most notably, photo-sharing app Snapchat.

Yesterday, the app’s users could interact with sponsored filters featuring the faces of nine of the franchise’s well-known characters. Sponsored Snapchat filters have recently become a must-have marketing tactic for major film studios with millennial-geared films, as the selfie feature typically yields more organic forms of sharing with friends and other users.

Twentieth Century Fox also uncovered another way to spur ticket sales ahead of the movie’s nationwide premiere this weekend by rolling out X-Men advertisements within various Discover channels and allowing consumers to purchase tickets through them.

Snapchat’s Discover channels showcase content from a variety of media partners – such as Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed and CNN – and include timely ads interspersed with mini-articles, images and videos.

Yesterday, consumers that viewed several Discover channels were also privy to a short video ad for X-Men: Apocalypse, featuring some of the new mutant additions to the movie, as well as the titular villain himself.

At any point during the video ad, individuals could swipe up via the “shop now” button emblazoned at the bottom of the screen. This brought consumers to a dedicated X-Men page on ticketing platform Fandango’s mobile site, where they were tasked with inputting their ZIP code to view a list of local theaters.

Once this step was completed, users were asked if they wanted to view the page in Fandango’s mobile application. Pressing “OK” brought them to the App Store or Play Store to download the app, while clicking on “Cancel” enabled them to browse tickets on the mobile site.

Consumers could then select which showtime they wanted to attend, and proceed to purchase the tickets on their smartphones.

Twentieth Century Fox’s decision to choose Snapchat as the ideal platform on which to market X-Men tickets was likely a smart move, due to the legions of millennials the franchise counts among its most enthusiastic fans.

Additionally, if Snapchat users happened to stumble upon the ad while thinking about activities for this upcoming weekend, it may have inspired them to peruse a list of films currently in theaters and make an impromptu decision to buy tickets.

Social ticketing stays hot
The trend of enabling consumers to purchase entertainment tickets on social media networks – and even invite friends to join their outings – has been steadily rising in popularity, thanks to the introduction of several new platforms.

With a growing number of consumers turning to mobile platforms to research local events and make plans with friends, event marketers are striking while the iron is hot and introducing new social ticketing solutions on Facebook (see story).

For example, Regal Entertainment Group is the latest movie theater chain to adopt digital ticketing by teaming up with mobile app Atom Tickets, which enables consumers to send invitations to friends via social media, pre-order concessions and purchase advance tickets (see story).

However, 20th Century Fox and Fandango’s partnership for X-Men: Apocalypse signals a new type of brand partnership with major revenue potential. With Fandango already being an established platform, consumers could feel secure in completing their transactions and knowing how to redeem mobile tickets at the theater.

The collaboration also suggests that Snapchat may soon become a go-to network for mobile commerce, potentially eclipsing other social media platforms such as Twitter. The ability to pair interactive content – including sponsored geofilters – with purchasing capabilities makes Snapchat an enticing choice for marketers.

“By assigning an actual, sales conversion upside value to an ad, Snapchat can demonstrate a real ROI for the ad space and, potentially, share in the revenue generated, rather than charging a flat rate for the ad space,” Mr. Kerr said.