Tia Hall-Davis

Does Snapchat’s Super Bowl deal spark a new era for brands?

Tia Hall-Davis
Does Snapchat’s Super Bowl deal spark a new era for brands?

Snapchat was an official part of this year’s Super Bowl for the first time, landing four major sponsors – Pepsi, Amazon, Marriott and Budweiser, for an NFL approved Super Bowl Live Story.

Branded content in Snapchat is not new of course, but the content has predominantly felt rough and ready.

However, this time it’s different, this time we’re talking big budgets.

Does Snapchat’s relationship with the Super Bowl suggests a sea-change in the precision offered by the platform in terms of targeting and analytics?

It’s the prestige advertising moment of the year. Brands pay an eye-watering $4.5 million for a 30 second spot. 2015’s game generated an all-time record peak audience of 120.8 million.

The gut-busting figures around food and drink consumption make a compelling case for seeing the Super Bowl as the most significant cultural moment in the American calendar.

Conviviality, community and shared experience are what the Super Bowl is all about, which make Social Media a natural choice for brands looking to deliver a deeper connection. The advertising offerings developed by the likes of Facebook and Twitter have been a godsend for Marketers and Brands looking to improve and prove the value of Social Marketing.

But when it comes to Gen Y, retreating from or refusing to join established platforms, our only options have been blunt tools. Just like the good old days. But not for long.

Now the world’s third most highly valued “start-up”, Snapchat has somewhere near 100 million daily active users, viewing over two billion videos every day. Until now the lack of analytics (and prohibitive cost of what limited advertising has been available) have kept all but the most adventurous of advertisers away.

For those brands willing to experiment, it has mostly been about playful moment marketing opportunities driving brand preference. We hope.

Moment marketing on Social can work – take Taco Bell’s “cool friend” work in Snapchat for example – but to secure bigger budgets, to create more ambitious and meaningful work, we require a more mature and precise suite of advertising and analytics tools.

Snapchat Discover has helped push their offering forward, as has news that it’s working on an application programming interface (API) that would let partners start buying ads with more precision and frequency. However, the platform remains a risky for advertisers; limited targeting and ad options and a lack of analytics leave us hamstrung when evaluating our work.

News of Snapchat’s first NFL partnership, securing four big sponsors to advertise in the Super Bowl’s Live Story, suggests a sea-change in the Snapchat’s proposition. Rumours suggest that Pepsi, Amazon, Marriott and Budweiser have invested “in the low seven figures” to have video ads served in the Super Bowl Live Story.

Sponsored lenses are reported to have cost $400,000 in the past, so this new level of investment suggests a new level of maturity within the platform.

These advertisers may not have committed to the activity without the assurance of more refined targeting and analytics to prove the value of the activity.

If the campaigns are successful we should expect cheaper, more precise, more useful advertising products to be made available to all.

Our challenge will be to create campaigns that are sympathetic to the channel’s thriving culture and don’t cause fickle Millennials to abandon ship.

Joe Hopper, Senior Social Strategist

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