Gatorade is pushing the boundaries of Snapchat with a video game ad tied to the U.S. Open.
The old-school tennis game features 22 levels with each representing one of Serena Williams’ Grand Slam wins. Level 23 will unlock on September 10, the day of the Women’s Finals, should Williams win. Players can simply click on one of the three tennis balls to initiate the game, and tap left or right to catch the ball.
“Serena Match Point” is sitting inside ESPN’s Discover channel on Snapchat as an ad. When users swipe up the ad, they will be directed to an in-app game experience. They can also go to SerenaMatchPoint.com via mobile or desktop to play the game. Gatorade will also use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to drive users to the game.
“We thought it would be a really fun way to celebrate one of the best athletes of our generation as she competes for a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title,” said Kenny Mitchell, head of consumer engagement for Gatorade.
This is not the first time that Gatorade brought its ongoing sponsorship with Williams to Snapchat, although it hasn’t yet had an official account on the platform. During Super Bowl in February, the company came out with an animated sponsored lens to let Snapchat users dunk a virtual Gatorade cooler over people’s video selfies — of course, Williams got virtually doused. This marketing ploy garnered around 160 million impressions on Snapchat. Mitchell didn’t specify how Gatorade planned to measure the new video game.
The Pepsi-owned brand’s first foray into Snapchat can be traced back in the fall of 2015 when it developed ads for football-related Live Stories to support its “Moving The Game Forward” campaign. “We learned a ton about the platform as a storytelling vehicle from this experience,” said Mitchell.
Brands are testing Snapchat in various ways. Birchbox, for instance, experimented with its phone and video chat features for customer service while Kit and Ace approached Snapchat as TV channel.
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