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Coca-Cola offers customized congratulatory drink to grads on Snapchat

Coca-Cola is among several big brands targeting interest-based groups on Snapchat through customized ads appearing in user-generated Our Stories around topics such as graduation, popular vacation spots or big events. 

The Our Story Snapchat feature allows users in one area or at one event to share their own content to the story while Snapchat compiles a feed of the best pictures and video, bringing all users together and allowing brands to join in on the fun as well. Advertisements are now featured in the stories that reflect the content; for instance, in a graduation story over the weekend, Coca-Cola created an ad that congratulated the class of 2015 with a digital Coke. 

"Allowing brands to be able to advertise within Snapchat stories will give brands a more targeted platform to reach their chosen audience, one of the main pitfalls of advertising on Snapchat is the lack of deep targeting offered by social giants Twitter and Facebook," said Melissa Greenberg, general manager at mobile advertising agency Fetch, New York. "By advertising within stories targeted to a specific event or location, brands can not only have a better idea of their audience, but can also create tailored content to increase engagement."

These developments follow Snapchat's decision to slow down on Brand Story ads, which allowed brands to purchase and submit a sponsored post as a story on users? feeds even without following the brand. The film Ouja was the first to use the ad unit last year, sharing trailers and video content to promote the film before its release. 

Like-able ad content
Consumers could gravitate towards these new ads because they are not intrusive to the user experience and users have the option to skip the ad by tapping their finger on the post, just as they can with other user-generated content. These ads are personalized to the story they are viewable on, making each advertisement the most effective to consumers. 

An ideal example of this was also seen on the graduation story on Snapchat, from job search Web site Indeed. A digital advertisement pinpointed graduates by sharing jobs for recent graduates and marketing its section of its site dedicated to grads. 

Indeed advertises right to graduates, where they are spending the most time

Users click and hold the story to view the temporary user-generated story, all located at the same event or location and within that content sponsored posts can be found. For instance with the Coca-Cola advertisement, users clicked through the graduation story on Snapchat and could see the posts from various users that were at a graduation over the weekend and within that, the advertisement post from Coca-Cola showed, similar to the user-generated content and displayed a moving image of a Coke bottle reading congrats class of 2015. 

Millennials are spending an immense amount of time on mobile and social media, and Snapchat is a large portion of that, with over 100 million users as of last year. Each advertisement is personal, as is the mobile experience, so brands getting involved with the Snapchat story ads is ideal. 

These ads are unique interesting and non-intrusive, which could cause consumers to gravitate towards the ads rather than withdraw. Users may enjoy these posts due to their personal relevance and lack of invasive content, which is ideal for advertisers. 

Snapchat strides
Also, recently Snapchat made it easier for users to share Discover content amid reports that the media channel is struggling, but it is Google?s mobile-driven AdWords refresh that requires immediate action (see more). 

An agreement between Time Warner?s Turner Sports and the National Collegiate Athletic Association with Snapchat to provide user-generated content during the recent March Madness basketball tournament burnished the mobile application's reputation as the new event-based consumption experience for millennials (see more).

"Like any social media platform in its infancy, one thing users are specifically drawn to about Snapchat is that it is an ad-free space," Ms. Greenberg said. "Platforms such as Instagram who have launched advertising initially received a lot of backlash from users who were bothered by the infiltration of brands into what is felt for many as a private news feed. 

"Brands looking to advertise on Snapchat will need to keep this in mind and make creative which is as native to the format so it feels organic as possible and isn?t deemed intrusive," she said. 

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer