Here’s a sign Snapchat is making a major push for advertisers — it just sent 48 employees to the biggest advertising festival in the world, Cannes Lions.
According to a list of festival attendees seen by Business Insider, the executives include some of the most important people who work at Snapchat:
- CEO Evan Spiegel
- Chief strategy officer Imran Khan
- Vice president of corporate development Steve Hwang
- UK general manager Claire Valoti
- Vice president Nick Bell
- David Shim, the CEO of Placed, which Snap acquired this month
- Director of revenue operations Clement Xue
- Global head of sales Jeff Lucas
Some caveats about the guestlist: Business Insider was shown an attendee list skewing towards UK and US attendees, meaning the numbers could actually be bigger. And the list shows who signed up and paid to attend Cannes Lions — that doesn’t necessarily mean they showed up. Snapchat didn’t comment.
Cannes Lions is one of the most important events in the ad industry’s calendar. It’s a place for executives to quietly strike new ad deals. And it’s become a showdown between online advertising’s biggest players, who throw lavish parties and construct elaborate beach areas.
Snapchat has normally kept a pretty subtle presence at Cannes Lions compared to Google and Facebook. But now it’s a public company, it’s a lot more visible this year.
In previous years, Snap set up a secret area for executives to meet with prospective and current advertisers. This year the company set up a massive yellow Ferris wheel right outside the main Cannes Lions building. It did hold a party on Wednesday night for media executives, barring journalists and stopping guests from taking photos, according to Digiday.
How does Snapchat’s presence at Cannes compare to its bigger ad rivals?
According to the list, Facebook sent around 61 staff, including COO Sheryl Sandberg and vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson. The list shows Google sent around 40 staff and Twitter sent around 20.
It’s pretty important that Snap keeps advertisers sweet right now.
The company reported a hefty $US2 billion (£1.6 billion) loss in its most recent quarter, though mostly due to stock-based compensation related to its IPO. User growth is looking weaker, and the company’s pace of monetisation is slower than its biggest rival Facebook. Another major worry is losing advertisers to Facebook-owned Instagram, which has mimicked many of Snapchat’s features.
Get the latest Snap stock price here.