Snapchat is proving its street cred with TV advertisers

Snapchat NBC Hairspray adSnapchatNBC’s Snapchat ads included a sponsored selfie ‘lens’ for the ‘Hairspray’ musical.

Snapchat desperately wants to carve out a piece of the $US70 billion in brand spending that currently goes to TV advertising in the US.

To get a piece of the pie, the maker of the popular messaging app is touting its ability to put people in front of their TVs.

Snapchat has stepped up efforts to measure whether users intend to watch a TV show that’s been advertised on the app, as well as whether those users actually ended up watching the show.

According to the company, early signs indicate Snapchat users are tuning in.

NBC saw a 122% increase in self-reported viewing of its “Hairspray” TV musical a few months ago because of its campaign on Snapchat, both companies told Business Insider.

Thanks to its partnership with Nielsen, Snapchat showed viewers of NBC’s ads an in-app poll that for the first time asked whether they ended up watching the live broadcast of “Hairspray” on TV. Snapchat users who were exposed to NBC’s ads (which included a sponsored selfie filter) at least three to five times specifically reported a 155% increase in self-reported viewing.

Two-second exposure

“This is the first time we did anything that was this extensive,” NBC senior vice president of media Kjerstin Beatty told BI in reference to the network’s Snapchat campaign for “Hairspray.” Beatty was particularly impressed with Snapchat’s ability to reach people under the age of 35.

“We thought if we had a shot at getting those people to the TV, Snapchat was the best shot at that,” she said.

Another lesson that NBC learned from its Snapchat campaign was that video ads don’t have to be long to produce results, according to Beatty. NBC saw a 2x increase in self-reported viewing of its “Hairspray” special after only two seconds of exposure to a video ad in Snapchat.

Those results are a positive sign for Snapchat, which has been criticised for not being as good at ad tracking as its social competitors. The company has announced a number of ad measurement partnerships in recent months to boost its credentials, including deals with Nielsen, Millward Brown, and Oracle Data Cloud.

Investors in Snap, which had its IPO earlier this month, are keeping a close eye on the company’s ad business. And deep-pocketed TV companies are great advertising customers for Snap, even if there is a certain irony to the whole thing.

After all:

Snap wants TV companies to advertise on its service so that those TV companies can get a bigger audience for their programs and thus sell their own ads for other products.

Get the latest Snap stock price here.

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