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Snapchat is launching a new format for video ads called Extended Play Commercials which allows advertisers to run ads up to three minutes long.

The video ads are skippable after six seconds and will be shown as mid-roll ads – similar to how Snapchat handles shorter ads.

The goal behind Extended Play Commercials is to let advertisers tell longer, more engaging stories to users who are already actively engaged with the platform. As the company tells AdWeek, Snapchat believes these ads will help capture a greater share of the video ad market:

“The company believes the flexibility that extended play commercials provides to video advertisers will help it gain more share of the overall online video advertising market.“

While the new ad format is currently only available in closed beta, advertisers can request access by making a request through Ads Manager or contacting a Snapchat advertising representative.

David Router, Snapchat’s VP of Global Agency Partnerships, says the ads are a great way for advertisers to connect with shoppers this holiday season:

“We’re committed to building high-impact, long-form video ad formats, and extended play commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Generation Z and millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand safe Discover content.”

Snapchat is launching a new advertising tool, called Instant Create, which promises to do all the heavy lifting of creating a Snapchat-optimized ad for you.

With the tool, you can create ads that can be published across the platform in just three steps:

  • Select an objective, such as web visits, app installs, or app visits
  • Enter your business website
  • Target your audience

From there all you have to do is review and publish your ad!

At the same time, Spachat has introduced an “Advanced Create” option which is intended to help generate multiple ad sets at a time. 

What Do The Ads Look Like?

As most of the process is automated, you may have some concerns about how your ad can be unique for your brand. 

With Instant Create, you can choose to upload your own images for your ad and work with the platform’s most popular ad template. Or, you can simply input your company’s website URL and the tool can pull photos directly from your website to fill your ad with. 

While the tool makes it easier than ever for brands with limited means to explore the idea of Snapchat advertising, brands with more experience advertising on social media will likely prefer the less restricted traditional ad creation tools.

 

 

One of the biggest hurdles keeping advertisers has always been simply making ads for the platform. While you can use the same horizontally-oriented videos for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more, Snapchat has always demanded that you use vertical videos only. Typically, that meant creating a video specifically for Snapchat from scratch.

That changes this week with the launch of Snap Publisher.

Snap Publisher is the new browser-based ad creation tool that promises to help you create a stylish Snapchat vertical video ad in just a few minutes – even if you don’t have a vertical video ready.

The tool is able to take any photo or video – including horizontal formats – and turn them into vertical video ads. Snap Publisher also allows you to import and use any photos or videos from your website, though it says you “may only import from sites in which you have the legal right to obtain media from.”

From there, you can either manually crop and edit the video or images or let Snap Publisher do it for you. The most practical use would be to chop longer videos or ads into shorter scenes fitting Snapchat’s three- to 10-second limits.

If you don’t have any videos or images that work as vertical ads, you can also choose from 13 templates Snap Publisher provides. The templates include a number of photos, videos, logos, and text you can use or customize to get the style and message you want.

With just a few minutes of tweaking, you can build a complete Snapchat video ad in just a few minutes, with or without any pre-existing footage or photos.

https://youtu.be/eVvEjzTKT3U

For years, the only way to advertise on Snapchat was by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to work directly with the company for custom advertising. Gradually Snapchat has been opening the doors to advertisers, but still require interested businesses to work with third-party partners to purchase ad space.

Starting this June, that all changes. Snapchat is preparing to throw the doors open to businesses of all sizes and budgets with a new self-service ad manager and Snapchat Mobile Dashboard.

Combined, these new tools allow any business or publisher to create and track video Snap Ads from anywhere. Most importantly, they also simplify the process so that anyone can get involved – instead of just high-level advertisers with massive marketing budgets.

Compared to other social ad platforms, Snapchat’s Ad Manager still looks to be relatively limited. For example you can’t directly purchase Sponsored Geofilters or Lenses through the tool, however, there is a separate self-serve tool for geofilters. However, it is a significant step forward for the platform that has always seemed like a walled garden when it comes to advertising.

In addition to the new Snapchat Ad Manager and Mobile Dashboard, the company is releasing Snapchat Business Manager to let you control permissions and roles for team members helping publish and monitor your ads. All three will be available in June to everyone in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and select other countries.

Snapchat, the popular social image sharing app, recently ran the first ad on their platform since its inception. If Universal Pictures, the movie studio who bought the ad, is to be believed, the results are already showing the advertising exercise was a great success.

It is hard to tell how the format will work for smaller brands, but Universal vice president of digital marketing Doug Neil said “millions” of viewers have seen the 20-second trailer for the horror movie “Ouija”.

However there has been some fallout from the ad tests, especially on Twitter. Some users were surprised by the ads or confused by their disappearance after playing. For big marketing ventures like “Ouija” this isn’t much of a problem, especially as the platform perfectly attracts their demographic, but it could be an issue with more niche or localized brands if Snapchat ever expands the ad platform.

Snapchat’s ad medium does offer one unique benefit from the plethora of other monetizing social media platforms. While Facebook’s videos autoplay for anyone who happens to scroll by, Snapchat’s ads have an incredibly wide reach while only playing for those who actively engage the ads. While a huge range of people were shown the ad’s presence, only those who wanted to view it actually watched.

“It was a lean-in experience,” Neil said. “The people who watched the ad were ones that pressed to play so they were focused on actually viewing the content. As it turns out there were a number of people who screen captured it and it’s actually moved beyond the Snapchat window. But our goal was to get exposure in Snapchat and that was accomplished.”