• Snapchat spectacles

Drop the chat and grab the Spectacles: it’s Snapchat rebrand time.

27 September 2016

Like an adolescent venturing out to college or university for the first time, Snapchat have reinvented themselves, snappy shades and all.

Snapchat, or ‘Snap’ as they now insist on being called, have made a big statement of intent with a new company name change.

The official reason for the rebrand? It’s the new glasses, naturally.

Spectacles, the official name for Snapchat’s latest fashionable moment-catcher, is essentially a Google Glass that people might actually wear.

With an intro that features skateboarding teens, and iPod-esque model shots that somehow pull off ‘fashionably whimsical’, Snap aren’t looking to stray too far from their core younger audience with these new Spectacles.

These shades also look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a spy flick, which probably won’t do them any harm in appealing to that market.

It’s a far cry from the extremely short-lived Google alternative, which as a wearable accessory, had as much appeal as sporting two large, luminescent Bluetooth earpieces.

Never mind the privacy issues that arose from a piece of tech that could be filming you at any point.

The developers of the Spectacles have learnt from past follies, by adding a light that tells people when the wearer is recording.

They’ve also given it a slightly more sensible price tag at $129.99, compared to the $1,500 Google Glass.

However, it’s still potentially pretty expensive for something that Snap Inc. Chief Executive Evan Spiegel sees as ‘a toy’, a new creation made mainly ‘because it’s fun’.

With the ad industry making plenty of cooing noises about the possibilities of VR, Snap Inc. are resolutely distancing themselves from preaching their Spectacles as the Future of Advertising™.

But can this funky new eyewear make a similar impact, and generate as much excitement as VR does for brands?

For those film makers serious about first-person perspective shots, they’ve got plenty of options already with Go Pro and its equivalents.

Besides, the 30-second limit for videos offered by these Spectacles is clearly designed for short-form snippets.

Even the most dedicated of Snapchatters would be hard pressed to justify buying these, as they can do plenty with the app already.

But one potential market that could do very well with these tech-savvy specs are bloggers, vloggers and celebrities.

Content creators with a large and dedicated following that have been already established are well set up to start using this new format.

It’s these influencers that may provide the most potential for brands looking at the Snap Inc. Eyeglass.

Providing, of course, they’re picking the names and faces that fit naturally with their own brand.

There’s nothing worse than a forced brand tie-in, and that goes double for anyone who have an audience built on authenticity.


As for the Artist Formerly Known As Snapchat?

The name change alone suggests a broader switch, without tying themselves down to being simply a messaging service. Something that they haven’t been for a while now, with discover and stories putting greater emphasis on ‘richer’ content.

It’s also the next step in their attempts to compete with Facebook.

However, Facebook developed all of this first, they progressed from their local networking roots to a colossal entertainment channel at their own pace, in a more natural evolution.

Unfortunately ‘Snap Crackle and Pop’ appear to be constantly playing catch up, in the shadow of the biggest player in the game.

No shame in that of course, Facebook being the goliath that it is.

But the release of this ‘toy’, as the Chief Exec himself called it, means Snap Inc. are a long way from getting out of that ‘zany younger brother vying for attention’ phase.


Strawman Says

Drop the chat – It’s all about the Snap. These swish Specs to capture every moment, brands will have to be natural and authentic, or run the risk of looking gimmicky.