Snapchat launches first shoppable ads for brands

Dive Brief:

  • Target and L'Oreal Group-owned cosmetics maker Lancome are the first brands to offer shoppable advertisements on social media platform Snapchat, Adweek reported late last week.
  • The 10-second ads, running within Cosmopolitan magazine’s dedicated in-app Snapchat Discover channel alongside curated articles and videos, include calls-to-action instructing consumers to “swipe up” their device screen for additional content.
  • Adweek notes that swiping Target's ad pulls up a loading page with the retailer’s mobile site, giving consumers the option to purchase plant stands, water bottles and other items featured in the promotion without exiting the Snapchat application. Lancome's ad delivers a similar user experience and promotes its new Juicy Shaker lip care product.

Dive Insight:

More than two months after Cosmopolitan editor and Snapchat board member Joanna Coles told Re/code that the social media app might soon roll out e-commerce capabilities, Snapchat unveiled shoppable ads appealing to Cosmopolitan’s young female reader demographic.

The swipe-and-buy ads signal Snapchat’s latest effort to monetize its platform, joining its Snapcash money transfer service and a growing range of advertising options.

Retailers including Chanel, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton have all run Snapchat campaigns. Just last month, Burberry promoted its new Mr. Burberry men’s fragrance and grooming products collection via Snapchat Discover, unveiling a short video directed by Steve McQueen (the filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning “12 Years a Slave”) as well as grooming and tailoring videos. Burberry and Snapchat also partnered on Snapcodes—scannable in-store promotions that enable consumers to unlock Mr. Burberry-themed content using mobile devices.

Snapchat now boasts more than 100 million daily users viewing upwards of 10 billion videos every day, Bloomberg reported last week. Snapchat users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day, CEO Evan Spiegel told bankers in a presentation earlier this year.

Despite Snapchat’s popularity and reach, not all brands are convinced of its marketing viability. Speaking in March at the South by Southwest Interactive event, Gregory Pouy, CEO of LaMercatique (a marketing firm that works with luxury brands like TAG Heuer), said Snapchat's signature video clipswhich do not exceed 10 seconds and disappear from device screens once they are viewedcan’t beat YouTube’s searchable content, even with millennials.

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