Vodafone is dipping its toe into Snapchat to drum up interest in its brand and mobile plans during orientation weeks at Canterbury and Otago University.
The telco saw the social messaging application, which lets users send photos, video and captions that only last 24 hours, as a way to have a stronger presence than the temporary stand companies usually occupy on campuses. It was also a targeted way to trial the platform and assess the results for future use, says social media head Mike Wilson.
"We want to engage with students and the opportunity at both campuses there is quite limited. We started discussing what offers and plans are relevant to the students. We said, 'we need to do something that gets awareness up of what we're doing and getting them back into the makeshift stall'."
Vodafone took to its social channels to ask fans to add the company on Snapchat. It built its following from 48 to 400 users in a week, says Wilson.
The telco used the application to send snaps to those who added the company, assigning them a task and revealing the location of a lycra-suited 'morph man' carrying helium balloons with prizes in them.
The prizes included high end and basic smartphones and speakers, which could be redeemed at Vodafone's campus pop up store. Vodafone contacted Snapchat in the US to investigate options for companies to use it promotionally, Wilson says.
It's not the first Kiwi company to use the messaging platform for marketing. Last year Skinny Mobile tested Snapchat to give away mobile credit, in a campaign with Auckland agency Young and Shand.
That agency was also behind TVNZ's efforts that used the dating app Tinder to target fans of The Walking Dead.
Vodafone's campaign was developed by its in-house marketers.