Universal: Views For First Snapchat Ad Were “In The Millions”

Martin Beck on
  • Categories: Channel: Social Media Marketing, Snapchat, Social Media Marketing
  • Snapchat’s ad buying pioneer, Universal Pictures, is pleased with the results, even if some of the evidence has disappeared and some users were surprised.

    The studio bought the first advertising spot ever sold by the ephemeral messaging service over the weekend — a 20-second trailer for the horror movie “Ouija” — and Universal vice president of digital marketing Doug Neil said the views were “in the millions.”

    Neil said final figures weren’t available, but early returns confirm that Snapchat advertising is an effective way to reach young people. Although Snapchat ads are not targeted, most of the people using the network are in the coveted millennial category.

    “We believe that the demographic for the film is in the crosshairs for Snapchat,” Neil told Marketing Land in a telephone interview tonight. “It was the right platform for us to work with.”

    There was some blowback on Twitter from Snapchat users — Snapchat’s blog post announcing the new ad initiative warned that “it’s going to feel a little weird at first.” Neil said that he believes Snapchat users will grow accustomed to ads.

    The studio also has had success with organic marketing on Snapchat, most notably for “Pitch Perfect 2,” Neil said, but it doesn’t have a Ouija movie Snapchat account. Since the movie is a new franchise, Universal was looking for maximum reach, something promised by Snapchat’s new ad product, whereas organic content is served only to followers of an account. The ad showed up Saturday afternoon in the “Recent Updates” section for all U.S. Snapchat users and remained viewable for 24 hours.

    Then it was gone, at least from Snapchat. It was captured and republished elsewhere, including this animated GIF and this YouTube video:

    Neil said the studio doesn’t worry that the ad doesn’t persist on the Snapchat network because it’s so engaging. Those who wanted to view it had to press — and hold — the video in the app.

    “It was a lean-in experience,” Neil said. “The people who watched the ad were ones that pressed to play so they were focused on actually viewing the content. As it turns out there were a number of people who screen captured it and it’s actually moved beyond the Snapchat window. But our goal was to get exposure in Snapchat and that was accomplished.”

    About The Author

    Martin Beck
    Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.