Snapchat warns brands against disruptive mobile ads

Too many brands are ‘interrupting’ the mobile experience with their ads rather than adding to it, says the company’s new UK boss.


Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, has urged marketers to raise the bar in mobile advertising, saying too many are still interrupting the experience and not adding to it.

Speaking at IAB Engage yesterday (13 October), Snap Inc’s UK general manager Claire Valoti pointed to research released by the IAB this week showing that investment in mobile display advertising overtook desktop display during the first six months of 2016.

However, Valoti suggested that many brands are not maximising their opportunities on mobile, instead relying on interruptive ads that fail to engage consumers.

“I’d like to challenge us all to raise the bar of what mobile advertising should look like,” she said.

“Look at what your audience wants to do and add to that. Don’t make advertising disruptive – it should add to the experience.”

Claire Valoti, UK general manager, Snap Inc

Valoti heralded her speech as the first time that a Snap executive had spoken publicly in the UK, and it was clearly positioned as a pitch to the marketing and advertising community.

This included a run-through of the latest data on Snapchat’s UK audience. The photo messaging app now has 10 million daily active users with a  50/50 gender split and 77% of the audience aged over 18.

Snapchat rebranded its company name to Snap Inc in September as it looks to build a holding company that will house other digital products and services. The business is also launching Spectacles – glasses that can record digital video – later this year as it prepares for an IPO.

The push to attract mobile advertising spend follows the launch of Snap’s ad business last year. During her presentation Valoti outlined three different ad formats: lenses, filters and snap ads.

Read more: Unilever says Snapchat has ‘come of age’ as it links marketing activity with sales boost

This included a case study of a ‘lense’ offered by soft drinks brand Vimto in which users choose to add a piece of branded animation to their photos and videos, rather than having it imposed upon them. “When you understand what your audience is doing and how they behave, you can actually drive business results,” claimed Valoti.

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