- Snap this month will roll out in the U.S. its "first commercial" format, a six-second, non-skippable video takeover that's guaranteed to be seen as the first ad of the day in Snapchat, per an announcement emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- Dating app Tinder saw a cost per completed view of $0.04 in its test of the first commercial format, which ran alongside a "national lens" and a "national filter," two augmented reality (AR) formats in Snapchat. NBCUniversal's recently launched streaming platform Peacock also tested the new commercial format. Advertisers that tested the first ad saw a lift in brand awareness among Snapchat users that was two times that of a Snapchat Ad, according to Snap.
- Amid the growth of video advertising and premium content on the app, Snapchat is giving mobile marketers another way to lift brand awareness with its audience of Gen Z and millennial consumers. Marketers will see the format in the app's ads manager in mid-October.
After piloting "first commercial" ads in April, Snap now is expanding its availability to give mobile marketers a way to ensure their video ads are immediately visible when people start watching shows in Snapchat Discover. The six-second, non-skippable format showed promising results in tests with Tinder and NBCUniversal's Peacock, not only in terms of higher awareness, but also in metrics like cost per completed view. Combining a first commercial with more immersive formats like AR lenses and filters also raises the likelihood of exposing a Snapchat user to a brand experience.
More than 60 of the shows that appear in Snapchat Discover reached at least 10 million viewers in Q1, according to the company. It also said that more than 80% of daily viewers watch Discover content at least three days a week, and that the daily number of Snapchat users who watched shows increased more than 45% in Q2 from a year earlier. More than 35 million people watched the original show "Will From Home" starring actor Will Smith, according to information Snap provided.
To build on the growth of Discover, Snap introduced a slate of docuseries that will appear in the app's section for video content from studios, publishers and influencers. Its upcoming lineup includes "Honestly Loren" starring social media star Loren Gray, "Life's a Tripp" with rapper Trippie Redd and "Swae Meets World" with rapper Swae Lee, according to the company.
Snap has gradually expanded its range of video ad formats in the past few years to give marketers more opportunities to participate in its programming. The company last year raised the time limit on video ads to three minutes from 10 seconds, and changed its six-second commercials to let viewers swipe them to visit a website, long-form video or camera attachment. Snap later introduced "extended play commercials" that run as long as three minutes after showing six seconds of non-skippable video in Discover. Comcast's Xfinity broadband service and carmaker Nissan were among the companies that tested the new longer ad format.
The social app has steadily added more video programming to prolong the duration users spend within Snapchat, whose core messaging features give people a reason to open the app about 30 times a day on average, according to the company. Two years ago, the company introduced a series of short-form TV shows called "Snap Originals" that were filmed in a vertical format, making them easy to view on a mobile screen. The app also let viewers swipe up to step inside AR scenes from the shows. Since then, Snap has expanded the lineup on several occasions to keep viewers engaged and expand its ad inventory. At this year's Snap Partners Summit, the company introduced dozens of new features, including a "happening now" section to showcase breaking news from media outlets including ESPN, NBC News and Reuters.
Snap also has sought to make its programming more transactional for advertisers. Last summer, the company introduced the social app's first shoppable series, called "The Drop," to give viewers a chance to buy streetwear collaborations from celebrities and designers. The series launch followed the addition of other e-commerce features like dynamic product ads. Sportswear brand Adidas boosted its return on advertising spending (ROAS) 52% in several European countries in a test of the format, which expanded worldwide this year.
Snap has touted its strength in reaching young adults better than other social media platforms and traditional channels. Almost three quarters (72%) of Generation Z users of Snapchat weren't reached by TV, per data from researcher Nielsen cited by Snap. The data also showed that Snapchat on average was seven times more efficient than TV in helping advertisers reach an intended audience, and that the app added 23% to incremental reach. Ninety percent of people ages 13 to 24 in the U.S. are active on Snapchat, whose audience also includes 75% of people ages 13 to 34, the company has said.