To know the value of Snapchat, we must understand Batman

value of snapchat

By Mark Schaefer

Snapchat has had its ups and downs, but today I would like to propose why this social media platform will have a long-term impact on our society and culture.

I’d like to tall a little story to explain this idea, and like all good stories, this one begins with Batman.

value of snapchatThe first television show I ever loved as a child was the old Batman series featuring Adam West. It was silly and cartoonish, but to a five-year-old boy this was serious stuff. I knew every character and plotline. I began constructing my own Batmobile out of scraps of wood in the basement. I made Batman models from kits. I wore my Batman utility belt to bed in case of an emergency.

My early childhood experience with my favorite super hero set me up for a lifetime of warm feelings every time I see the Caped Crusader. I will always love Batman because I loved him when I was five.

I don’t know if there is an official psychological term for this, but I will call Batman my “nostalgia imprint.”

Every generation has its own nostalgia imprint. Perhaps for you it was something like:

  • The Beatles
  • Star Wars
  • Power Rangers
  • Pokemon
  • Michael Jordan
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Disney princesses
  • Michael Jackson
  • Harry Potter

All of these cultural icons have lasting emotional power over their generation. They will be popular for all our lives and the entertainment industry will continuously find new iterations for us to enjoy.

Nostalgia imprint and value of Snapchat

This is a roundabout way of explaining why I believe Snapchat is in the same category as these pop icons. The platform is leaving a very powerful nostalgia imprint on the current generation of 15-25 year-olds. It is their place. It is their cool. It their culture. They know the characters and plotlines.

While an older generation may be mystified by the attraction of turning yourself into a kitten or squashing your face, this is the new Batman.

I can’t believe I just said that.

Let me correct myself. Snapchat is the new Disney Princess. That’s better.

In any event, I don’t think you can overestimate the power of this intense emotional connection. For many, it will last a lifetime and there is tremendous value in that for marketers.

Snapchat will last

From a business standpoint, I think Snapchat has a ton of problems. They may not even last as an independent company (my bet is they will not).

Perhaps the true value of Snapchat is in the “cultural equity” they possess with this generation. Maybe since the Snapchat Spectacles bombed they may iterate some day as “Snapchat: The Movie” where the super power is your rainbow puke or face-morphing powers.

It could happen.

Or, perhaps, the kids today will re-discover something of real value … like Batman. Now that would be really cool.

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

 

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