The efforts made by Snapchat to prove that millennials are turning it into the new TV has started to leave marketers wondering if they should be spending big on content that could be short-lived.
It doesn’t mean that they are not tempted by the vision of the platform for mobile TV. Instead, they are struggling to understand what a pitch like that means for them and how it can be activated.
More than that, the unabashed attempts made by Facebook to copy the core features of the app over the last year has left a lot of advertisers confused. They are indeed asking if they can reach the audience with a real-time Instagram story, then what’s the value for Snapchat?
Meanwhile, anxiety in the market isn’t lost on Snapchat either, and it dispatched, Imran Khan, it’s chief strategy officer to pitch to Publicis executives and clients on last month. However, neither Publicis or any of the other big holding groups appear to be convinced that the ads in Snapchat are better than TV.
They are wondering whether they should commit the 100mn or 200mn dollars which Wall Street Journal reports it wants.
Considering the meteoric growth of Snapchat, advertisers are yet to view it as the platform of choice to reach the younger audiences since media buyers don’t possess any hard evidence on what they will be getting in return for the increased expenditure.
However, there is no doubt that Snapchat is a more expensive platform to advertise on, compared to other social networks available, as admitted by Tim Love, Pizza Express senior social media manager. He further explained how it made it so difficult for brands to test the platform, meaning that they either have to go all in or they won’t be able to advertise.
Moreover, the intimate nature of the application has made it harder to craft a community, in the same manner, they can do elsewhere and also the absence of detailed demographic information, suggests that it is mainly a younger audience, which isn’t enough.
Meanwhile, Snapchat would argue that the ads are working. 117 million views were clocked up by Starbucks for a campaign which included a sponsored lens gaining a play time on average of 23 seconds. Adidas also claimed that people watch their content regularly on Snapchat, longer than they do on YouTube.
The feedback may be impressive, but neither Adidas nor Starbucks has fully-fledged roles for the app, in their marketing plans. It is not in the same way Diageo’s or Heineken thought when they signed direct deals with Facebook in 2011, before its IPO. Hannah Chaston, social director at Iris, said that the reason they come across advertisers who are against spending money on the platform is based around ephemerality.
According to Snapchat, it has better ads than television and far better ads than other digital video competitors like, according to the Snap S-1 filing. It tells us the story of how it managed to make a creative, engaging and fun ad format for its mobile application.
First, they surveyed other digital video competitors and concluded that the existing video ad options were rather horrible. The company said that two of the most popular means of video advertising at the time were pre-roll horizontal advertisements along with in-feed horizontal video advertisements.