First on CNN: Cruz buys ads on Snapchat for Thanksgiving football

Story highlights

  • The states included in this round of Cruz's Snapchat buy will hold primary contests in March 2016
  • "The campaign has been very clear that we are going to be aggressively competing in the SEC states," a campaign spokeswoman said

Washington (CNN)When Snapchat users attending college football games across the South open the app this Thanksgiving weekend, they'll have the option of using a filter paid for by Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, which hopes to reach thousands through the app.

The Cruz campaign has purchased ad space on Snapchat, a popular photo and video-sharing apps among college students, that will appear on phones at games in seven states on Friday and Saturday. The usable filters will appear on smartphone screens for anyone using Snapchat near stadiums at the University of Missouri, Alabama, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Clemson and Louisiana State. Users will have the option of including the campaign logo in their sharable video or photos.
    Snapchat geo-filters, which lets brands or candidates pay to appear on the app in targeted regions, has become an increasingly popular way to reach a demographic that is difficult to target using traditional advertising strategies. According to Snapchat, 37% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 use the service monthly.
    The states included in this round of Cruz's Snapchat buy will hold primary contests in March 2016, and the campaign has indicated that these areas will be an important part of its strategy.
    "The campaign has been very clear that we are going to be aggressively competing in the SEC states," Cruz campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said. "Being able to use Snapchat geo-filters will be an effective way to show our presence with a lot of people in these states."
    In September, Cruz paid for a geo-filter at an Iowa-Iowa State football game and Ohio Gov. John Kasich's presidential campaign used a branded filter in New Hampshire. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have also used paid ads on the app. Frazier said that when the campaign bought space for a Cruz filter in Iowa, 8,901 used in it photos that received 169,659 views.
    Cruz himself will not be attending the games, his campaign said. He plans to spend Thanksgiving in Texas with his family and will travel to Iowa to campaign over the weekend.