3 Easy Ways to Create Slam Dunk Snapchat Ads During the College Basketball Postseason

College basketball postseason is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. The competition is fierce. The games are intense. And the stakes are as high as they can possibly get. It’s a mystifying spectacle that captivates even the most casual of viewers.

A lot of people tune in, too. 

And when we say “a lot,” we mean millions of viewers across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV¹. Moreover, in 2022, more than half of these viewers actively engaged with social media during the postseason tournament². 

That’s a lot of sports fans who could be potential customers. 

Want to get in on the action without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a 30-second television spot?

Incorporating the college basketball tournament into your marketing efforts and running targeted ads on Snapchat is a sure-fire, cost effective way to energize your messaging, and generate excitement from tip-off through the end of the fourth — and beyond. 

Here are three ways to create game-changing Snapchat ads that drive results:

1. Get your timing right

Just like those last-second, game-winning Hail Marys from half-court, your timing is everything. The specifics of when you launch your campaign can mean the difference between success and failure — a huge win or a frustrating loss. 

And there’s no value in burning through ad spend if your target audience isn’t paying attention. 

Let’s say you’re an online retailer selling sports apparel, like shoes and jerseys. One of the best times to capture your audience's attention would be the days and weeks leading up to the first round of the tournament. That way, fans can purchase all their new gear before the tournament starts.


Or, maybe you’re a food delivery service. If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that people love a good meal — particularly during big events like playoffs. We’re talking pizza, sandwiches, wings, and more. No matter what you serve, your ads are sure to hit the mark when folks find themselves scrolling Snapchat looking for tournament highlights.

So, take your shot now. Start designing your business' slam dunk Snapchat ad.

2. Take creative risks

No team ever made it to the national championship playing it safe. The best playmakers know what works and understand the fundamentals of the game, but they also know when to shake things up. 

The same can be said for advertising.

Social media feeds are jam-packed with content, influencers selling their favorite products, and businesses trying to get an edge. That’s why it’s more important than ever before that your ad creative stays fresh.


When it comes to tone and imagery, "safe" ideas risk getting overshadowed by businesses with bold messaging. So, put yourself out there and embrace the over-the-top mayhem of the tournament. Test new visuals, headlines, and copy and check your analytics to see what’s working for your business. As you learn what resonates most with your audience, update your campaigns to incorporate those learnings.

Pro tip: The bulk of Snapchat users are Gen Z and millennials³. They're a savvy bunch, so we recommend making your ads short and sweet. By using easy to understand and localized copy, as well as including your offer within the first two seconds of your ad, you can make the most of these users’ attention spans.

3. Have fun

People get absolutely hyped over this tournament. 

It could be the idea that anything can happen in March. A low-ranking team can knock off a top-seed in the first round and make a run to win it all. A less-than-casual sports fan can somehow create the perfect bracket by basing their picks off their favorite team mascots. Or, an unknown basketball player from a small town can become a household name overnight.

When you consider the possibilities, it's easy to see why this is one of the country's most widely embraced sporting events, coming second to only — perhaps — that big pro football game they play every February.  

It’s fun.

So, ride that wave. Here are some creative ideas to consider for your next campaign:

  • Offer discounts and rewards for winning brackets or team success. 

  • Center your promotions around the local team. 

  • Launch ads that capitalize on spontaneous viral moments.

  • Tap into the emotional highs that lie at the heart of the game. 

Pro Tip: You can leverage talking points and sound bites leading up to and through the event. Think: who is the favorite to win it all, or what top-seeded team will be sent home first. This chitter-chatter will help you create content that's both timely and relevant to potential customers.

1 Gough, Christina. “March Madness social media usage 2022.” Statista, 27 May 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/813408/march-madness-viewing-location-platform/. Accessed 24 February 2023.
2 Reynolds, Mike. “March Madness 2022 delivers double-digit audience gains.” S&P Global, 6 April 2022, https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/march-madness-2022-delivers-double-digit-audience-gains-69696230. Accessed 24 February 2023.
3 Snap Inc. internal data Q4 2022. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.