Mark Kelly campaign launches first Snapchat AR lens for a Senate race

As the Arizona Senate election heats up ahead of November, Democratic candidate Mark Kelly’s team launched its own Snapchat account on Wednesday, including the first custom Snapchat AR lens from a Senate campaign.

Retired NASA astronaut Kelly is running in a hotly contended special election in Arizona to serve out the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s term through 2022. The seat is currently held by Sen. Martha McSally, who is running in opposition to Kelly on the Republican ticket. Kelly’s Snapchat account will be used to rally voters ahead of the election, seeing as the campaign has strayed away from in-person events and canvassing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A campaign spokesperson said that the team will be posting new Snapchat content for followers daily. This will include Snapchat lenses like the animated astronaut lens that launched on Thursday as well as additional highlights and stories. Content will be posted in both English and Spanish.

“Today’s launch is no small feat, this is one strategic way the campaign is working to reach young voters in this flippable battleground state where every vote will make the difference on Election Day,” a Kelly spokesperson said. “Young Arizonans are ready for change, and while we continue working to flatten the curve of this pandemic, our campaign has been focused on reaching voters in even more ways online.”

Earlier this month, Snapchat rolled out new tools that allow users to register to vote directly in the app. As of publication, Snapchat has helped over 850,000 people with voter registration, the company confirmed. A majority of those who were helped with registration were between the ages of 18 and 24. The Kelly campaign estimates that there are over 1 million registered Arizonan voters between the ages of 18 and 30 on Snapchat.

Kelly’s campaign also touts sizable followings on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are two campaign-themed Instagram filters listed on Kelly’s profile for followers to use. The team has also rolled out policy-specific highlights featuring videos and explainers in both English and Spanish on the platform.

Snapchat said it is currently hosting ads from seven Senate campaigns, including both Republicans and Democrats.