LCBO opens up shop on Snapchat

Ontario’s LCBO has added a virtual reality component to its summer “Hot List” marketing campaign, with a pop-up shop that consumers can visit via Snapchat.

The government-operated wine and spirits retailer built a fully integrated campaign around the Hot List of drinks being promoted for summer, with ads from lg2 running across out-of-home and digital channels, and driving to the Summer Hot List section of the LCBO site.

But as a way to connect with younger legal-drinking-age consumers, MediaCom developed the Snap Lens—which recreates an in-store LCBO experience to highlight in-store products.

The lens launched in late May, and will run for another week. Snap users 34 and under (based on the age provided at sign-up) see the lens as an option whenever they open the app.

“We wanted the user experience to be about recreating the in-store aspects—we want to bring you in the store without actually being in store,” said MediaCom account director Melissa Giorgio.

Snapchat remains one of the most popular apps among Gen Z and younger millennial consumers (34 and younger), so MediaCom wanted to use it to either connect them to the LCBO digital storefront or bring them into a bricks-and-mortar location.

Once users tap on the lens and enter the virtual store, they learn about the different categories of drinks featured on the Hot List through virtual signage throughout the “store.” They can learn how best to enjoy the beverage, why it is a best-seller, and explore items that the LCBO carries and recommends, and also take a photo of themselves inside the store. (See the demonstration video below.)

“Younger consumers love to be in the know and the first to try new things so they can share them with their friends,” said Julia Sousa, LCBO’s senior director, integrated marketing and operations. “The LCBO portal Pop-Up Shop on Snap Chat facilitates just that. It provides an innovative, immersive experience enabling customers to easily make the perfect choice with a curated collection of this season’s hottest products, demonstrating that LCBO is the go-to brand for product discovery and education.”

With the growth in ecommerce, social platforms have been steadily introducing functionality to improve social shopping. Snapchat has been expanding its shopping, and adding AR options for brands and retailers.

In 2021, MediaCom created a “traditional” lens for LCBO’s Hot List—a graphical overlay that put sunglasses on the user’s face and made it look like they were ready for the beach. “It had great results and experienced purchase intent lift,” said Giorgio. “That’s why we decided to kind of kick it up a notch for this year. Take it one step further and put you in the store.”

Giorgio couldn’t share specific numbers, but said that in the first four weeks the lens was live, “average time spent has increased from previous lens and it received an extensive amount of shares.”

David Brown