Snapchat: An Overview and Ad Opportunities

Contributed by Ashton Gary, Director, Account Strategy at Goodway Group


With Snapchat monopolizing the share of time Millennials and GenZ spend in social media, marketers are scrambling to learn more about how to advertise on Snapchat. In short, Snapchat’s advertising offering is still in its infancy, and advertising opportunities change frequently. Snapchat has recently launched a self-serve platform allowing users and/or brands to pay to create their own geofilters. For $5, users can log in and submit a filter they have created for use in their own Snaps with their friends. Brands can also create and submit a branded filter for consumers to use. The cost will vary based on the geos the brand selects, and how long they want the filter to be available.


In July 2011, Evan Spiegel launched Picaboo, a photo-sharing app that enables users to share pictures that would disappear after 10 seconds or less with their friends. By that fall, Picaboo was renamed Snapchat, and within a year of the company’s launch, it had already grown to over 100K users and was on a rapid growth trajectory. New features were added in the years  that followed: videos, texting, video chat, shareable geofilters, Snapcash, and a Discover section for publishers, such as CNN, Discovery, and ESPN, to share content. As of Q1 2016, Snapchat has over 100MM daily active users, viewing 7 billion videos every day.

Ad Opportunities

Chain Geofilter

  • Geotargeted branded overlays can be added to users’ photos when they share a snap in a city/region we specify
  • 58% of users have used a branded filter*

3V (Vertical Video Views)

  • 10-second skippable videos with user-initiated audio
  • Videos can run when users swipe through the Discover or Live sections
  • According to Snapchat, users are 9X more likely to watch a full video in the vertical format

3V Live National Takeover

  • Highest impact placement available
  • Single-day buy with 3 slots available in the Live section
  • 77% of users watch Live Stories videos

By the Numbers

  • 200MM monthly unique users
  • 54% log in daily*
  • 60% US 13-34-year-olds**
  • 60 average user videos viewed/day**


What brands are ideal to run on Snapchat? Brands targeting millennials and GenZ What types of messaging should I run? Awareness messages are ideal as the platform is designed to keep users inside the app. App download campaigns are now available but keep users inside the Snapchat app What types of reports can I get? Limited data is available right now: impressions, shares, and app downloads. Third-party Millward Brown studies can help measure ad effectiveness Can we run this at Goodway? Not really, no, this document is intended for educational purposes and will be deleted in 10 seconds

Sources: *NewsCred quantitative research study; **Snapchat internal data

  Ashton spent nearly 10 years working in digital media planning and strategy for dozens of brands. Now as a director of account strategy at Goodway, he helps agency clients at all levels—from multinational to hyperlocal—leverage the right campaign touch points based on their needs. In his downtime, you will probably find him at home with his wife working on their 1920s Craftsman home that needs constant attention.