If ever there was a sign that Snapchat’s advertising business has grown into a real consideration for Madison Avenue, its CEO Evan Spiegel speaking at the biggest advertising event of the year — the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity — is probably a good indicator.
Speaking with Adweek ahead of Cannes, which kicks off this weekend, 25-year-old Spiegel admitted speaking in front of 6,000 of adland’s top executives will be “nerve-wracking” — not least because “I’ve never built an ad business before,” he added.
Adweek’s profile of Spiegel also takes into account the views of Snapchat and Spiegel from some of those who will be watching his presentation at advertising’s annual gathering in the south of France.
Snapchat partner Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg compared Spiegel’s leadership style to the chief executive of the world’s largest advertising agency network, WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell.
Steinberg says: “He doesn’t believe in bureaucracy and hierarchy,” and “he’s interested in ideas and doing big things and standing by your word … I love the guy, and I don’t say that about everybody.”
But, unlike 70-year-old Sorrell, The Daily Mail executive adds: “Evan runs the company like a startup. He wanders into my office unannounced and asks for feedback on Discover and the ad products … we also go to him and his team with questions about media, community, and the novel formats they’re rolling out.”
Snapchat’s pitch to advertisers at Cannes will focus on its “3V” approach — “vertical, video, and views,” in other words. So-called because of the app’s vertical/portrait video style, and the 2 billion views it attracts every day — half that of Facebook’s daily video view count, but achieving that with only an estimated (Snapchat didn’t reveal global user figures in the article) 200 million users, to Facebooks’ 1.4 billion.
In terms of other impressive numbers, Spiegel will also boast that Snapchat gets around 35 million users aged between 13 and 34-years-old opening up the app each day in the US, a number it says approaches the TV audience for the same group. Adweek compares ABC’s recent broadcast of the American Music Awards, which got 3 million viewers, versus a Snapchat Live Story about the event which got 11.5 million views.
But one thing Spiegel won’t be talking about is targeted advertising, which he finds creepy, particularly retargeting — when an item you once looked at on a website starts following you around the internet via ads.
Spiegel tells Adweek: “We’re going to stay away from building really extensive profiles on people because that’s just bad and doesn’t feel very good.”
Instead, Snapchat focuses on more broadcast-esque ads like sponsorships within its Snapchat Discover section that houses content from media partners such as Vice and Cosmopolitan, and video ads from brands within its Live Stories section. The latter costs $US20 for every 1,000 views, a price that has come down a long way from the $US750,000 packages the photo-sharing app was originally touting to advertisers.
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