Snapchat CEO Promises Better, Non-“Creepy” Digital Advertising

Snapchat continues to make the case that its ads are the best way to reach the young U.S. audience, while honoring people's privacy.

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Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel continued his Snapchat-ads-are-better campaign today in France.

Spiegel, the 25-year-old founder of the social messaging network, speaking during a keynote interview at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, argued that digital advertising is all too often ineffective and intrusive. He criticized re-targeting ads that follow people around the web, horizontal video ads that force people to rotate their phones and desktop ads clumsily repurposed for mobile devices.

What Snapchat does is “really different than Internet advertising,” Spiegel said, quoted by the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been lucky. We didn’t have any legacy Internet ad-serving infrastructure.”

Instead, Snapchat has been free to experiment with ad formats and has settled on videos that play within both user-generated and professionally produced content on the network.

Spiegel’s appearance at Cannes coincided with a new Snapchat marketing campaign for its advertising effort. Dubbed 3V — vertical, video, views — the campaign includes a video of Spiegel explaining why Snapchat ads can effectively reach the nearly 100 million daily active users on the network.


Snapchat video, the argument goes, is designed to be viewed on mobile phones; Snapchat says vertical video has up to nine times the completion rate of horizontal video. The video always plays full screen with audio (when device audio is turned on), meaning viewers are more likely to be give their full attention to the message.

Snapchat, the company said, is the best way to reach young people in the United States, since 60% of U.S. smart phone users 13 to 34 are Snapchatters. And that audience accounts for more than 2 billion videos daily. “Our community watches more video on Snapchat than any other platform,” Spiegel said in the video.

Spiegel said Snapchat ads are effective without gathering personal data. The company offers targeting by location and gender but not by interest topics like Facebook or Twitter. “We really care about not being creepy,” Spiegel said. “That’s really important to us.”

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About the author

Martin Beck
Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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