The 2016 Presidential Digital Strategy: Selfies, Lasers and Bacon

From apps to Snapchat, the digital strategies in the 2016 presidential race.

Both examples highlight how 2016 presidential candidates are using social media and relatively new platforms to reach young, digitally savvy voters, drawing donations and interest to their campaigns.

Stand With Rand

The Rand Paul 2016 app was developed by the Kentucky senator’s campaign and is one of several steps Paul has taken to reach social media users.

Sara Sturdivant, an undecided voter in Massachusetts, tweeted her own virtual selfie with Paul this week.

“Social media is going to be front and center this presidential race,” Sturdivant said.

Sturdivant discovered the Rand Paul app through Twitter and she keeps up with several campaigns using the social media site. While she doesn’t agree with all of Paul’s stances, she finds him “refreshingly honest” and thinks the app shows Paul’s sense of humor.

“I think it shows a forward thinking aspect to Rand Paul, but I think it also shows some humor that he doesn’t take himself so seriously,” Sturdivant said. “There’s a lot of humor in politics.”

“People can take anything out of context. It’s meant as a tool for people who support the Senator, want to learn about the Senator, want to get engaged and want to get involved,” Gor said.

Snapchat’s New Filter: Kasich and Bacon

While Paul’s smartphone app is available to voters nationwide, Ohio Governor John Kasich used Snapchat to zoom in on the Granite State.

In a first-of-its kind advertising scheme, New Hampshirites woke up on Wednesday morning to a brand new filter on SnapChat – with a message from Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It was paid for by Kasich for America, marking the first time a Presidential campaign has paid for a custom filter on the app.

The morning message featured the Kasich logo, rendered in bacon, because hey – what voter doesn’t like bacon?

“Someone teased us that our ‘K flag’ logo looked like strips of bacon,” Kasich spokesperson Scott Milburn told ABC News. “So when the Snapchat idea surfaced as something to test drive, we thought a bacon-themed filter for the morning would be funny.”

Filters can be added to any photo by swiping. While some turn pictures sepia, or black and white, others add graphics and messages – sometimes limited to a geographical region. This “geofilter” was only available to users in New Hampshire.

In what Snapchat confirmed was a first for its app, the filter was only accessible during morning hours, creating an ultra-targeted advertising opportunity for the Kasich campaign.

The app is seen as a link to young voters like Jenna Guilmain, a college student who discovered the filter Wednesday morning at her home in North Havervill, N.H.

“I think it was a smart move,” the 19 year-old said, noting that Kasich has not received as much attention from her peer group as Jeb Bush or Donald Trump. “The thought process is ‘what is this filter, who is this, let me look them up.”

The Kasich camp declined to say how much the ad cost, but Milburn said he was open to more collaborations with Snapchat.