Snap Inc.’s Digital Upfront: What we learnt

Posted on Tuesday 24 January 2023 | IAB UK

Read our key takeouts from Snap Inc.’s Digital Upfront hosted at the Outernet, with speakers including Roman Kemp, Nishma Robb and Chunkz

“We’ll be spending the next 75 minutes talking about happiness”, explained broadcaster Roman Kemp, opening Snap Inc.’s Digital Upfront. “The link between happiness and connecting with friends and family has a lot to do with Snapchat”, he added, with Ronan Harris, Snap’s EMEA President elaborating on this theme. According to Harris, Snapchat allows you to “connect with joyful content that is about your passions” and 75% of Snapchatters come to the platform to interact with close friends and community. This helps to create “the happiness opportunity”, founded on a sense of security and community, where people are in a more receptive mindset to receive relevant messaging from brands. Here’s what else we took away from the event:

Friends & family are the real influencers

The fact that Snapchat is all about connecting with loved ones has a big impact on the level of active attention that content receives, said Aarti Bhaskaran, responsible for global ad research and insights at Snap Inc. She shared research showing that vertical video ads in Snapchat’s Discover tab deliver 6.8 seconds of active attention (vs a benchmark of 3.7 seconds for vertical video ads in general), and 79% more active attention than average in the context of ad length. “Snapchatters tend to curate the content they want to see in the Discover tag”, Bhaskaran explained. “This sense of agency, at least in part, is responsible for that receptivity”. 

Snapchat’s focus on friends and family means that it’s “not only an environment where you are seeking out specific curated content, you’re doing it in an environment of closeness”, Bhaskaran said, with friends and family becoming “the real influencers”. The level of personal relevance that Snapchat content has means that it is able to drive personally relevant advertising, with Snapchatters reportedly “finding ads to be less annoying, less intrusive and less interruptive". 

Discover at Snap Upfronts

Snapchatters span generations

Snapchat has 363 million daily active users and 15 million tune into the Discover tab in the UK to access short-form, mobile-first video content. While it has strong Gen Z reach, Snapchat’s audience “spans generations” according to Lucy Luke, Head of UK Partnerships at Snap Inc., with people of all ages seeking out captivating content - from sports coverage to news reports to TV shows.  Above all “content has to feel authentic to the platform” and be focused on storytelling, so that branded content sits easily alongside what’s shared from friends and family. 

Bringing a client perspective to the stage, Nishma Robb, Senior Director of Marketing at Google, told Kemp: “You want to be in an environment where stuff trends, but you also want to be in an environment where conversations happen - and they’re happening on Snapchat.” She added that “Snapchat is one of our best performing platforms”, pointing to the success of Google’s ‘It’s OK to Ask’ campaign on the platform. 

Google at Snap

Snapchat is “the perfect focus group” for creators 

“There is a great sense of community [on Snapchat] in every sense of the word”, said Kika Osunde, Snapchat star and Founder of Good Hair, describing it as “the perfect focus group” to share her ideas. This also resonated with Snap star and YouTuber Chunkz, who said that he uses Snapchat to “show what I’m getting up to on a day-to-day basis”. Both also discussed how they use Snap to monetise their businesses, with Kika explaining that she sold the vast majority of tickets for an event she was hosting via Snapchat promotion. Meanwhile, Chunkz has partnered with JD Sports to take over its Snapchat channel and create content that resonates with the brand’s audience. 

Creator panel at Snap


You can find more about the IAB’s Digital Upfronts here

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