Snap Nestle Kitkat

Nestlé digital boss Pete Blackshaw on Snapchat: ‘Facebook can’t ignore it, and neither can we’


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

March 6, 2017 | 5 min read

As Snapchat’s owner Snap goes public, advertisers have weighed in on their hopes and aspirations for the social network. Among them is Nestlé's digital boss Pete Blackshaw, who is currently monitoring several pilots on the app in the hope that it could one day turn into a critical marketing platform for his brands.

Nestle on Snapchat

Nestle brands on Snapchat - Nescafe. Purina's Felix and KitKat

To date, Nestlé has merely dipped its feet into Snapchat, but there appears a real hunger for the platform – it has launched nearly 40 campaigns on the service across six of the (eight) markets the company accepts ads in. These brands include the likes of Nescafé, Purina, Perrier, Gerber, Nespresso, SweeTARTS (lens shown below), KitKat, Hot Pockets and DiGiorno, - and Nestlé tells The Drum that there is much more to come in 2017.

One example Blackshaw was especially pleased with was a campaign for Purina Felix in the UK, comprised of a sponsored lens and Snap Ads. The lens in particular transformed users into mascot Felix the Cat.

Additionally, vertical full-screen the Snap Ads were ran in User Stories and Discovery. These, according to Blackshaw, reportedly played well with those in the “hard-to-reach late teens and early 20s”.

He said: “With Snapchat, there’s a tremendous opportunity in staying close to what our kids are doing. You learn a lot, the key for a digital leader in tech or marketing is to stay hyper focused on the consumer. Be very, very humble about what you don’t know and always listen in a curious attentive way.”

Despite the clear enthusiasm from Nestle, some parties in the marketing industry claim Snapchat still has a lot to learn if it wants to retain interest from brands. This is particularly true of the app’s ad metrics, a gripe echoed by Filippo Catalano, chief digital operations officer Nestlé. He said the one thing he would like to see from Snapchat would be “the ability to collect data programmatically in a way that for content, analytics and services, which I am sure is coming”.

What’s made Snapchat so appealing to brands is that it’s had a “last movers’ advantage”, added Blackshaw. “They’ve been able to look at the success of Facebook and Google and Twitter in terms of the way they have built brand-centric teams and put together research, credit to them for moving very fast on the successful strategies of other companies”.

Some final advice for Snapchat from Blackshaw reads: “We like to jump into relationships with platforms with a very strong learning plan and once we have the confidence that a medium works, pays out and builds the business we are all in, especially if Snapchat can continue to do that and continue to help us decipher the very complicated nature of our kids. I am still trying to figure it out. Facebook can’t ignore it, and neither can we.”

Snap Nestle Kitkat

More from Snap

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +