Commentary

How Brands Are Behaving On Snapchat

What’s your competition up to on Snapchat?

Sure, swiping around the app can offer some clues, but MediaRadar took a more methodical approach by analyzing the activity of 397 brands from last November through this past January.

And?

Across 52 Snapchat Discover Channels, the average brand is buying between four and five channels at a time, the ad intelligence firm found.

Meanwhile, ad spend across Discover Channels is not equally distributed. The average Discover Channel carried 24 advertisers since the beginning of November. In that time period, iHeart Radio’s channel was the most popular, with 61 brands placing with them.

CNN had the fewest advertisers, which is almost certainly related to the network’s recent decision to suspend its channel.

Not too surprisingly, ad spend is highly concentrated in entertainment (48%), with tech (13%) and retail (12%) coming in a distant second and third.

Yet Snapchat’s current ad mix suggests there is substantial room for growth, even within its endemic market.

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Beyond Snapchat’s core demographic of young folks, brands are responding to increases in the share of older users.

The company recently reported that half of all new users are 25 years or older.

Among other brand responses, Olay is now advertising its Completely Ageless Collection on Cosmo’s and People’s Discover Channels.

What about video length?

Well, between November and January 2018, MediaRadar found video ads ranging from three to 10 seconds in length, while 60% of the spots were between eight to 10 seconds long.

Also of note, the intelligence firm found almost no examples of brands buying across all of a single publisher’s Snapchat channels.

For example, no advertiser bought both Wired and Vogue (both Condé Nast properties), or Cosmo and Esquire (both Hearst properties), from November through January.

For MediaRadar, this buying behavior reinforced the idea that buys are gender-targeted.

Based on its findings, MediaRadar also found what it believes to be instances of exclusive brand deals -- or, at least, brands with a penchant for single channel buys. 

Among other examples of this, Exxon only bought with the NFL from November through January, while Dunkin’ Donuts appeared to restrict itself to ESPN’s Discover channel during the period.
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