Xander Opiyo layers stock photos and iPhone pics into silly Snapchat campaign

Looking to distance itself from other social media sites, Snapchat turned to multimedia artist Xander Opiyo, known for his chaotic and – in this case – smartphone-driven style.

21 February 2024


Snapchat has gone all multimedia in its latest campaign called Less Social Media, More Snapchat. Unlike regular social media (here pictured as generally sad and distressing), Snapchat wants to show that it’s a place for fun-filled silliness. To pull it off, Snapchat looked to none other than multimedia super star Xander Opiyo, who worked with creative directors Joe Albert and Jason Turner on a selection of animated visuals.

“I got an email from a recruiter out of the blue!” Xander tells us about nabbing the project. “She told me the creative directors came across my multimedia design work, and that I would be a perfect fit for the project because of my colourful and shiny aesthetic sensibilities.” Xander was responsible for the visuals associated with the “More Snapchat” tagline (where things are over-the-top and playful, humans have horses’ heads, etc.).

Typically, when sourcing imagery for a collage, Xander will pull from royalty-free websites like Wikimedia Commons, or go the vintage route and use old magazines or museum databases. This process was very different. It had to have that ‘phone look’, so Xander used a mixture of stock photography, user-submitted imagery (“like real regular people”), and quick images taken on iPhone.


Snapchat: Less Social Media, More Snapchat campaign (Copyright © Snapchat, 2024)

It’s clear social media is trying to incorporate more user-generated aesthetics in its marketing, hence the loose style of the campaign. “I presented some work by prefacing that it was still kind of rough and one of the CDs reassured me that ‘that’s kind of the point’ and I was like ‘ooooohh’,” says Xander. “I think that direction also makes the work feel very un-buttoned up, which is also the vibe of Snapchat! Real sketchy. So yes they were looking for that!”

Still it’s a tightrope to walk; keeping things feeling chaotic while feeling firmly rooted in the Snapchat brand world. Xander often used imagery inspired by, or in some cases, created using Snapchat filters. “While designing the visuals I used the Snapchat app for inspiration – getting into the actual tool the campaign is based on and taking pics of myself (or my girlfriend) to see if a filter works in the composition – to keep a common visual thread”. Mostly though, the less logic to the images the better. “The whole point was to make visuals that spark joy, so if we thought the work was silly then it was good to go.”

Less Social Media, More Snapchat is accompanied by a TV spot and a full OOH campaign.

GallerySnapchat: Less Social Media, More Snapchat campaign (Copyright © Snapchat, 2024)

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Xander Opiyo: Less Social Media, More Snapchat (Copyright © Xander Opiyo / Snapchat, 2024)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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