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Formula 1 Misses the Snapchat Holeshot

19 Jul 2017, Posted by Glen Gibson in General

How a typical Snapchat user finds Featured Stories

Another British GP has come and gone, a flurry of excitement, redemption and popped tyres. The hype was real hyper-engaging event in London and non-F1 fans were paying more attention than ever. What a weekend to start your official cooperation with Snapchat!

While this was the first Grand Prix under the new official cooperation, several F1 races have already appeared on Snapchat stories. But was what the difference? From the outside, not much. Aside from being featured in the ‘Featured’ section (usually reserved for media outlets like The Sun, IGN, Sky News and Vice) of Snapchat, you were left wondering what was new. Well, apart from Lewis Hamilton’s Bose ads splattered throughout. The advantage of your event being featured as a story or in the ‘Featured’ section is that anyone in the target countries can see that story, they don’t need to already be following the F1 Snapchat for example. You need to put your best foot forward when there’s an opportunity like that.

Snapchat make it notoriously difficult for outsiders to see how effective stories and various campaigns are from the outside so it’s almost impossible to say if the ‘official partnership’ was more successful from the numbers side. From a content side, it certainly wasn’t anything special. While filters, fan predictions and reactions to the race are always fun and engaging – it was hardly anything new for those not at Silverstone. No action clips, no funny radio messages, no David Coulthard grid walk or no technical features to draw someone in. Why does Ashley from Stoke care about who John from Tunbridge-Wells thinks will win the British GP? I know I don’t, and I doubt Ashley does either.


Streets lined with people, phones in hand and Snapchatting


After the event in London, the powder keg of potential new fans was primed to go off but it was a little more roman candle than Sydney New Year’s firework show. It’s early days and the races in Singapore, Japan, America, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi will all feature extra Snapchat integration of some form. The partnership is clearly giving fans on the ground something extra, but a little more work is needed to start creating content to turn a serial snapchatter into an F1 anorak.

Who doesn’t love a filter?

At HPSJardine, we’ve found success using Snapchat to bring out the players’ personality during PlayStation Schools Cup events. These small and simple interviews have been popular not just with the target audience, but also with the athletes and their clubs for the very reason that it does allow them to show off their personality in a different way. These types of personality focused pieces regularly receive over 50,000 views for the PlaySation Schools Cup.

Personality is what drives the online content world, and this is what Formula 1 need to tap into. From the comically dead-pan Kimi Raikkonen to the lavish Lewis Hamilton and the ‘true blue’ Aussie nature of Daniel Ricciardo, personalities are everywhere in F1. The characters, action and resources are there – but will F1 ‘get it’? That’s the 160+ million Snapchat user question.