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Arty Snaps

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

US Museum nails Snapchat’s new Geofilter feature with meme-friendly art/comedy content

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has caused a stir on Snapchat with a series of witty posts.

The museum joined the mobile messaging site in July, and has since created a number of amusing ‘snaps’ by overlaying a modern theme onto classic works of art. The Shade Auguste Rodin bronze sculpture, for example, was snapped with the message ‘all the single ladies’ – a reference to one of Beyonce’s most famous songs.

As well as sending snaps to fans, LACMA is also encouraging visitors to create their own messages. By using Snapchat’s Geofilter feature, fans can automatically overlay the the exact location onto their message before sending (see the Geofilter launch video below, which actually features LACMA).

Speaking to arts and culture website Hyper Allergic, Maritza Yoes, LACMA’s social media manager, said: ‘Not only is Snapchat a great way to reach a younger audience, but it also provides us with a platform for play — a place where we can create stories and experiences around the museum, our collection, and our staff.’

LACMA’s handle on Snapchat is lacma_museum.

Contagious Insight /

Snapchat demographics / It’s pretty clear that young people love Snapchat. A recent survey suggested that 43% of 12- to 24-year-olds in the US use the messaging service at least once per day. So, as a means of reaching that demographic, the LACMA has made the perfect platform choice.

But what makes this particularly interesting is the actual content: it intriguingly combines classic art with modern references and memes. By doing this, LACMA puts the collection of art at the centre of its communications. But it also ensures that the content sits perfectly on Snapchat – a platform that’s often popularised by highly original and creative snaps (check out some of the best ones from around the world, here).


Changing attention spans / It’s also worth noting that Snapchat has the potential to completely alter the way in which people interact with brands on mobile. Yes, it’s ephemeral, so the content will disappear and can’t be shared amongst friends. But it also demands our attention, so can end up being much more effective than a banner ad or Facebook post.

In a recent interview with Contagious, Microsoft Research’s principal research scientist, Danah Boyd, explained that: ‘We get so obsessed with ephemerality that we forget about what [Snapchat has] done in terms of changing the dynamics of attention… You choose a time where you’re going to say “I’m going to pay attention to this and I’m going to put all my focus there”.’

Of course, this requires the content to be good enough. But if brands can create messages that are right for both the audience and the platform, there’s a strong chance that engagement rates will be high and payback will be impressive.

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact