Mar 27, 2020

Snapchat Ads. Doing Big Numbers

It’s been just over a year since Snapchat introduced 6-second non-skippable adverts in Europe. They’ve since gone on to be a mainstay in many media plans. The issue is for many, getting on those plans, to begin with.

The appeal of the ads has been so great that some big-name players such as L’Oréal and Adidas have kept it on their media plans for more than a year. The adverts appear during snap shows and this gives them a larger view-through rate than most adverts. Of course, that comes at a cost.

A senior director from a network media agency claimed that throughout fifteen Snapchat ads the CPM fluctuated between roughly six and seven pounds. Although other buyers have said the CPM can be as low as just two pounds and as high as eight.

The general manager for Snap, Snapchat's parent company here in the UK had this to say,
“Commercials are cost-effective and once we get on plans we tend to stay there. There are a few media plans we’re on now including social video and display video while we’re also talking to AV teams.”

Of course, not everyone is waxing lyrical over the ads. One paid media director commented,

“Only a few of our major clients are using Snapchat Commercials. We try to sell it where we can but it takes a while to build out scenarios that show clients it’s possible to get even more performance from Snapchat than Facebook.”

The issue is that often the advertisers are unsure of how best to use the feature. Some have used the tactic of pairing the feature with an AR lens. In a strange quirk, the more different formats of advert that companies use the less they pay overall because they target the same audience several times in a short period.

Sebastian Redenz, head of paid social at Havas Media Group had this to say,

“When we have put Commercials on media plans, they’ve performed well on video completion rates and the cost per completed view. Getting to that point isn’t straightforward and the tipping point in many of those conversations comes with being able to demonstrate to our clients that the audience they want is there.”

Some people are surprised by the fact that the cost per click (CPC ) is less for commercials than for skippable ads, this is especially true in Germany where it is a whopping 86 percent lower. It’s only here in the Uk that the cost of standard snap ads is cheaper than their commercial cousins. It has been noted that they receive inconsistent engagement too.

The result of this is that Snapchat finds it hard to find palaces on paid media plans. These tend to be dominated by larger, more established platforms. Having said that Snapchat is starting to become a contender. Client Director at Universal McCann, Lawrence Dodds had this to say,

“There are so many new formats and platforms for advertisers to consider. For this reason, those advertisers are increasingly looking to simplify their social strategies where possible so they can focus their spend on the opportunities that drive scale.”

So now Snapchat seemingly faces the challenge of convincing businesses that it has a unique audience. Deborah King, the Vice President for media activation paid social, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at Essence commented,

“Snapchat’s pitch struggles to articulate what its incremental reach means for advertisers. Once we get past this, then Commercials is an easier sell to advertisers because they understand its non-skippable format similar to what they buy on other platforms.”