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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

The Peanuts Movie / Sponsored Snapchat Lens

Entered in Snapchat


20th Century Fox approached AvatarLabs with a special Peanuts Movie request: help Snoopy, Charlie and the gang go mobile with millennials and teens, groups that didn't spend as much time with the fabled franchise growing up. Picking a platform was easy—Snapchat. The execution required a more elaborate solve.

A significant part of Snapchat's appeal is derived from ephemerality. Content vanishes almost as soon as it's posted. This phenomenon extends to native filters and effects that appear and disappear without notice. Users delight in discovering them and sharing as many unique snaps as possible before their favorites are retired.

Such transitory engagement can frustrate even the savviest digital marketers. AvatarLabs and Fox devised a plan that embraced these fleeting moments of discovery with the mobile app's first-ever sponsored Lens. This was delivered to Snapchat's 100 million-strong user-base to honor another milestone—the Peanuts gang's first-ever foray into feature-length CG.

Strategy and Execution

Snapchat debuted Lenses in September 2015, which map fun motion effects to users' faces to create real-time video selfies. The "rainbow vomit" Lens was the most popular; countless shares and articles featuring humorously distorted faces regurgitating waves of technicolor made the rounds on the social web. After a week, the effect disappeared—and over a month later fans across the US were dressing up as the selfie for Halloween. For their sponsored Lens debut, Fox opted for an execution that riffed on this fan-favorite visual as well as the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Perfecting "silly fun in a few taps" is a deceptively simple task, made more challenging by the app's fickle audience, the experimental bent of the Lens feature and the need to respect a franchise as cherished as Charles Schulz's Peanuts. Numerous creative explorations were in order.

Early round After Effects concepts included Snoopy and Charlie Brown performing their trademark happy dance, a Red Baron-inspired biplane flying a banner, "Peanut-ized" bats and spiders, and an effect that transformed users' mouths into a Schulz-style squiggle. All animations needed to coexist with the signature effect—inhaling wave upon wave of Halloween candy corn—without obscuring the user's face.

AvatarLabs's creative team—in close collaboration with Fox, Snapchat and the Moxie agency—developed the winning formula for super-sharable branded user-generated content. One part Woodstock, dancing a jig on the user's head. Add Snoopy, cavorting in a foreground pumpkin patch. Float subtle branding, then top it off with a few notes of the "Linus and Lucy" theme and endless mouthfuls of candy corn.

Two additional branded Filters were created to accompany the finished Lens.


The Peanuts Movie Halloween treat was pushed to users at 12:01am on October 31st, a week ahead of the premiere, and promptly vanished after 24 hours. Advertising and tech pubs spotted the promotion immediately. The first-ever sponsored Snapchat Lens earned headlines in Mashable, Re/code, Adweek, Advertising Age and TechCrunch, among others. Nods in Variety and the Los Angeles Times followed.

The execution garnered tens of millions of interactions, and the film grossed $44 million opening weekend.

Fan reactions:

"You think I'll use the Halloween filter on Snapchat? No, I'll use the Peanuts movie filter."

"The Peanuts filter on Snapchat just made this Halloween 10 times better."

"There's a Peanuts filter on Snapchat and it makes Woodstock dance on my head I'm so happy!"

"OMG The Peanuts movie filter on Snapchat just made my day!"

"The Peanuts thingy on Snapchat is so cute."


Video for The Peanuts Movie / Sponsored Snapchat Lens

Entrant Company / Organization Name

AvatarLabs, 20th Century Fox


Entry Credits