As Snapchat prepares for its initial public offering, we are beginning to see the Los Angeles-based company get more aggressive on its monetization efforts. One of these new efforts, according to sources, is them pitching bundled video ads to advertisers. The bundled video ads that Snapchat is pitching would be back-to-back video ads that have different creative that display within Discover. (Discover is the app’s daily content area from brands such as CNN, The Daily Mail, and more). One media buyer described to Adweek, “how marketers can cut up a 30-second spot into three 10-second ads that run consecutively.”
“Think about taking a 30-second asset and getting it cropped up into three 10-second spots. I’m going to buy three back-to-back ads, and I’m going to tell this sequential story,” said a digital ad buyer who spoke with Adweek on condition of anonymity. The source added, “I think it becomes unique in regard to storytelling. These guys are trying to get away with this idea of, ‘Maybe if you watched three seconds of the first video, five seconds [of the second video] and then 10 seconds to finish the story, that’s good as long as you get the point of the narrative.'”
This type of advertising is known as sequential advertising. It is a sophisticated targeting tactic used by many digital marketers and advertisers. It works by allowing people who have previously seen an ad to receive follow up messaging so that the consumers receives a more complete brand story. This type of advertising already exists on Facebook and Twitter.
Snap’s pitch differentiates their offering from Facebook and Twitter options though. They shed the need for complex tracking and targeting, and, instead sequence messaging in the Discover channel for a contextual match.
Another digital advertising executive familiar with the features explained, “What’s interesting here is that this becomes part of the DNA of a buy. You’re starting to think through a linear story or a progression that can be told in a couple of steps, which is quite a bit different than your typical execution that you’d see elsewhere in social.”
The same source added that these new media buys can only be purchased directly through Snapchat and are not available through the company’s API. Additionally, this advertising option on Snapchat comes at a premium price and requires “early commitments for a full-service execution.”
When Snapchat was asked about sequenced messaging, they confirmed that it is open to all advertisers, but added that the app’s audience buys are the most popular. The audience buys include email list targeted, interest targeting, and look-alike targeting.
As Snap grows, it has continually had entertainment brands be the first to buy ads on its new offerings. This remains the case with sequenced video ads. Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures were both some of the first to try out the sequenced messaging tools.
Right now, Universal Studios has a sequenced campaign running within Cosmopolitan’s Discover channel. The ads are for the new horror movie Split, and a teaser for the film has been split up into three parts.
Lisa Cucinotta, director of social strategy and business development at Horizon Media, explained, “I would want to see brands that were thinking more about creating three 10-second vignettes tied together, almost episodic, as opposed to saying, ‘I’ve got a 30-second TV spot. I’m just going to chop it into pieces of 10 seconds and run it.'”
Cucinotta added, “The thing I always wonder about with sequential is how much people actually realize that it is sequential. With Facebook mobile, you’re still scrolling up and down through a feed, whereas with Snapchat, yes, you are still scrolling, but it’s a little more real estate, and it’s a little more of a controlled experience. So, it could be a very evacuative storytelling format.”
According to one digital executive, Snapchat’s sequential ads are just limited to video. But he said that he expects the format to soon be integrated into the newly launched autofill and lead-generation tools for deep linking.