Saudi National Day celebration and conversion on Snapchat
Posted on 2021 Sep,07  | By Abdulla Alhammadi

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Abdulla Alhammadi, Regional Business Lead at Snap Inc., shares insights on how to create engaging shared experiences for a community of over 19.5 million in the Kingdom

While Saudi Arabia always marks its holidays in style, there is nothing quite like National Day. It is an occasion of shared celebration that truly transcends all segments of Saudi society across age groups and provinces. Moreover, it is a time when people gaze as much to a promising future as they do to an extraordinary past. Saudi National Day is thus a meaningful occasion for celebrating with friends and family. We have seen this firsthand at Snap Inc. During Saudi National Day 2020, for example, story posts on Snapchat grew by over 100% week on week in the Kingdom.

Amidst the celebrations, brands would do well to look at how they can get involved in sharing the nation’s pride. From offering discounts to releasing special products or bespoke media content, more brands are joining in each year.

What is particularly unique in Saudi Arabia is that this celebration happens just as much digitally as it does physically—especially on mobile.  Over 13.8 million Snapchatters in Saudi Arabia watched content on Snap during the week of Saudi National Day 2020, with there being a 123% increase in Lens usage on the National Day itself compared to the 2020 average. The opportunities on Snapchat are all the larger this year. Snapchat reaches more people in KSA than Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, with a monthly addressable reach of 19.5 million individuals in the Kingdom.(1)

But how does a brand’s intent translate into creative expression? How can they actually engage with people to be part of a shared experience leading up to and during National Day? I’d suggest three strategies.

In the 2020 Saudi National Day period, more than 20 Lenses were activated on Snapchat by partners including STC, Abdul Samad AlQurashi, Mobily, and others, generating over 355,000 hours of AR playtime.

Deliver immersive experiences

The immersive experiences that can be created through Lens—merging the digital and the physical world—are very powerful means to leverage for marketers. Snapchatters in KSA are 1.4x more likely than non-Snapchatters to gravitate to immersive video and AR experiences. Compared to their global counterparts, Saudi’s Snapchat Generation is also 1.7x more likely to say they are using AR to try on products more than they did a year ago. This behavior is here to stay. In one recent study, we found that more than 3 in 4 consumers believe AR technology will play a role in how people shop in the next five years.



Combining video and the camera

Branded AR experiences can positively impact the shopper journey and influence consumers during distinct moments — from inspiration to purchase to post-purchase. That said, using multiple content and ad formats drives greater results. Video-led Commercial options, for example, are an effective way to make a first impression. In fact, there’s more than a 15% incremental reach when adding Commercials to a  single image or even a video ad on Snapchat, and a 2x higher brand awareness lift. This is all the more impactful as more people in KSA watched Snapchat Discover every day than any of the top 10 TV channels, both before and during Covid-19.

Optimize your organic presence

Snapchatters visit and spend more time on the platform during the National Day holiday. But you also want people to keep coming back! Launched earlier this year, Public Profiles for Businesses give brands of all sizes a free, permanent home on Snapchat to house all of their unique Snapchat content. They are the first organic presence for a brand or business on Snapchat, and the first step in connecting all of one’s unique content in one discoverable place—whether it is Public Snaps, a video, an AR Lens, or even a Native Store experience powered by Shopify. Snapchat makes it possible to do cross-platform promotions to boost your Public Profile. Featuring content that is trending in Discover or on Lens Explorer also makes a significant impact on subscriber growth. In one recent campaign, the marketers at Universal Pictures were able to drive over 300 million additional Lens views just by putting AR experiences on their Public Profile.

Ultimately, these three strategies are all about converting key marketing and business objectives. During the week of Saudi National Day 2020, for instance, campaigns running Lenses on Snapchat delivered a 7x average purchase value compared to the average for all formats. There’s no better and more exciting way to envision this Saudi National Day than through the camera.



1- Snap Inc. internal data March 2021