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The Unavoidable Problem with Snapchat

An Open Letter to Snapchat

Dear Snapchat,

Your advertisement platform is bad. Why? Because Snapchat is a mobile application that is is trying to monetize itself in a way that is like trying to fight Conor McGregor, UFC Lightweight Champion, with both hands tied behind your back and hopping on one foot. So unless you were trained by Mr. Miyagi (No, I’m not too young to make a Karate Kid reference) in the art of advertising Jiu Jitsu you are wasting your time and money.

Snapchat advertising icon

Don’t worry, this letter isn’t going to be me tearing Snapchat ads apart, well not most of it. I’ll provide you with some better options to capture your advertisers Share of Voice among my demographic (18-24). Which, with our incredibly short attention spans, is hard enough to do with even a solid advertising plan.

Monetizing Snapchat?

So like I mentioned earlier, monetizing Snapchat with ads is a waste of time. No matter how little they play the ad between my friends Snap-Stories I am never going to want to watch it. If I am being honest, when is anyone going to want to watch an Ad in their social media stream? Right now, that “when” is never. I’m sure you know this, but this is the reason the Ads are just skipped over as easily as a Snap-Story from friends that all went to the same concert. If the maximum time a story can be seen is 10 seconds then why would I sit through a 10 sec ad. Snapchat worked because it was fast and fun. Throwing Ads into the mix just slows it all down, something us 18-24 year olds won’t stand for.

As our frequent readers know, one of my favorite past times is video games (yes, I’m and average 18 year old). I routinely watch IGN’s posts on Snapchat, so it would make sense for Snapchat to throw on a couple video game ads here and there. I get one from IGN. Only one ad… the same ad that I see every time.

On November 4th Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was released and Infinity War (Developer) did an amazing job with their advertising campaign. Which included, in my opinion, the greatest promotional trailer of all time. Like most loyal Call of Duty fans I preordered they game months in advance. So Snapchat, I ALREADY HAVE THE GAME. The money that Activision (publisher) and Infinity Ward paid to have those ads run is a waste when they put in it my stories and many others like me.

Follow the Leader

The best example I can give for advertising is YouTube’s Adsense. With the release of their updated ad platform AdSense, the ads are more relevant. Now I will admit I am guilty of skipping over the two minute ads, but the 30 second ones are just the right duration. Even when their ads are put in the middle of the video I am willing to watch a 30 second to one minute ad because I already made the decision to take the time and watch a four or five minute video. I’m not casually tapping through Snapchat stories while I am walking to and from class or when I wake up Sunday morning. We are talking active vs. passive media enjoyment.

So what should you do? Well if your company has a strong social media presence then YouTube is where it is is at. Don’t bother wasting your time with Snapchat Ads. Google’s AdSense asks you only a single, quick question after a couple ads to make sure they are putting relevant ads on the videos you are watching. The Youtube approach seems to make the advertiser’s money go farther, and creates a far better chance I will watch that ad.


P.S. Possibly the best online Ad ever. Fun, engaging and interesting to watch. Take notes Apple. Take notes everyone. First time I’ve considered buying anything but an iPhone in years.

Teddy Murphy-Blogger

This has been another post by Teddy Murphy. I’m keeping my eye on what’s next.

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