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Ella Sagar 

Snapchat insists it is 'obvious choice' for reaching Gen Z

Snapchat insists it is 'obvious choice' for reaching Gen Z

Snap made its case that it was the video content platform without compare for reaching Gen Z during a presentation to advertisers and agencies.

IAB UK launched Snapchat's upfront this morning with sessions about partnerships, programming and advertising options on the platform.

Edward Couchman, Snap's regional general manager for DACH, Netherlands, Nordics and UK declared the platform was "the obvious choice" for creators, partners and advertisers based on its curated quality video content, brand safety, Gen Z access and tool suite for advertisers.

In his opening remarks, he highlighted Snapchat currently has 293 million daily Snapchat users globally, with more than 30 million people in the UK using the app every day which is continuing to grow.

Snapchat announced in May it had reached 500,000 monthly users, before TikTok announced in September that it had surpassed 1 billion monthly users worldwide. Facebook doesn't report separate user numbers for each of its apps, but eMarketer estimated that Instagram was due to hit 1 billion users at the end of last year, compared to the Facebook app's 1.9 billion users.

Hyper customisation and changing video consumption habits

The next session with Andy Pang, UK head of marketing science at Snap and Gill Hind, chief operating officer at Enders Analysis, spoke to "hyper customisation" and changing video consumption habits among Gen Z and Millenials, the target audience for many brands.

Among the so-called "Snapchat Generation", "hyper customisation" that you see when ordering a Starbucks with individualised drinks is the direction of travel and most teens and young adults do not watch TV in a communal room or have TVs in their bedrooms, Pang said.

Hind agreed there is "a huge generational divide" in linear TV watching habits. She said: "The younger generation will watch less than one hour a day with some not watching at all this week."

Hind highlighted that Gen Z are watching a wider variety of video content than before and other online video is filling the gap where linear TV used to be, rather than ad-free streaming services.

However, rather than only see mobile as a competitor to linear TV, Hind noted that so-called second-streaming adds an opportunity for broadcasters. She noted that "multi-platform consumption is normal for many shows and a central part of their engagement," pointing to examples like The Great British Bake Off and Love Island using social media during the show to generate excitement and create communities.

Hind also discussed Gen Z's "incredibly diverse" video usage which could be six seconds on Snap or several hours long video on Twitch, effectively spanning "all formats, genres, lengths  and subjects".

Hind predicted at the end of her presentation: "Online video is going to be half of Gen Z’s consumption this year and is only going to go up", a statement to the importance of a brand like Snap's future position in the market.

Premium content and brand safety

Premium content that is "both informative and entertaining" on the editorialised Discovery tab on Snapchat were pushed as key indicators of a mature and safe platform with quality content suitable for advertisers.

A range of Snap Originals covering "topics that matter" like mental health and climate change with A-list stars like Will Smith and Ryan Reynolds alongside partnerships with media owners like Channel 4, Sky and Vice were put in the spotlight with Suzy Cox, head of programming for EMEA, India and APAC at Snap Inc, announcing Anthony Joshua will star in the first UK commissioned Snapchat Original.

Advertising Tools

In a talk about immersive and efficient marketing on Snapchat, Toccara Baker, UK product marketing manager at Snap, emphasised how the camera company has pioneered multiple tools for advertisers from AR lenses, First Commercials, Snap Ads, Story ads, Spotlight, Snap Select and Dynamic Ads.

Baker (pictured, above) explained: "We pioneered vertical video. We have evolved from flower crowns to shoppable filters. We can drive leads and app installs as well. We often say people come to Snapchat for their friends and they stay for the content. Snapchat was built for video and a unique generation."

Vertical screen and automatic sound on adds value for advertisers, as it is "a full-screen format that commands attention", Baker said.

This is particularly the case with Commercials, Snap's six-second non-skippable ad format, and their "most premium video offering" First Commercials which launched last year and allows advertisers to reserve the first spot a user sees on the Discover tab, which, she claimed, drives a "23 point lift in ad awareness".

Baker also mentioned Snap Select, a tool that originally came from feedback from video-buying teams. It has a fixed CPM and guaranteed delivery with bundles available across different categories like sport, beauty and fashion.

Attention Economy

Baker presented findings from Snap and Dentsu collaborating on strategy on the "attention economy".

They found that compared to the platform average, Snapchat Commercials are 1.7 times more viewable and 2.1 times more likely to be viewed. They also have five times more attentive seconds than the platform average.

The same study found 31% of Gen Z surveyed said they preferred short videos and shows in 2020, which grew to 46% in 2021.


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