On Wednesday, the Biden for President team will release a new Snapchat lens encouraging supporters to vote early in key swing states ahead of the US presidential election.
The Biden team will be the first campaign to employ Snapchat’s Marker technology. If users decide to use the lens in selfie mode, they will be covered in aviators and Biden-Harris merchandise, including a T-shirt, hat, and button. Once users flip the camera, they’re directed to aim it at a United States Postal Service logo. The logo could be on a mailer or a nearby mailbox. Once the USPS logo is scanned, fireworks go off with the message “Vote Early for Biden-Harris.”
As of last week, the Biden campaign is spending significantly more money on Snapchat compared to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, according to the progressive digital advertising firm Acronym. The Biden campaign spent nearly $740,000 on the platform whereas Trump’s team has spent only around $41,000. The new Snapchat lens is part of the Biden team’s ongoing paid media efforts and will be targeted to 18- to 34-year-olds in swing states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, and Georgia. The lens will also be geo-targeted around mail drop box and post office locations around the country.
In May, the Biden campaign rolled out its first Snapchat lens that put users in Biden-style aviator sunglasses. In the following months, the campaign has launched several new online organizing efforts like partnering with the celebrity video-sharing platform Cameo for fundraising and offering in-game Biden-Harris yard signs and merch in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Earlier this month, Snapchat rolled out a set of new tools that allow users to register to vote directly in the app. As of last week, nearly 1 million people have been helped with voter registration, according to the company. Around 80 percent of Snapchat users are of voting age, and Snapchat reaches nearly 90 percent of all 13- to 24-year-olds and 75 percent of all 13- to 34-year-olds in the US.
The messaging ties in with Democrats’ ongoing emphasis on both mail-in ballots and the post office itself, which has faced intense service cuts under the Trump administration. President Trump has continually raised doubts about the integrity of mail-in voting, although he has produced little evidence to support those claims.
At last night’s debate, Biden defended the absentee voting process and encouraged people to vote however was easiest for them. “Five states have had mail-in ballots for the last decade or more, including two Republican states,” the former vice president said. “It’s honest. No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots.”