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Snapchat to users ‘this is going to feel a little weird’

OuijaSnapchat launched their first in-app ad today and with it came the all-to-familiar, we hope this will save us, apology.

This one might be my all-time favorite:

This weekend we’re placing an advertisement in “Recent Updates” for Snapchatters in the United States. It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this because it’s the first time we’ve been paid to put content in that space. It’s going to feel a little weird at first, but we’re taking the plunge.

The app caters to young users and it has a reputation for naughty behavior, so I get the thinly veiled, double entendres but still. . . .

 An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie. It goes away after you view it or within 24 hours, just like Stories.

Translation: we know you hate ads and you’re going to be mad at us but it’s going to disappear on its own so don’t make a big deal out of it.

Of course, the way most social media networks run, like Twitter and Facebook, ads disappear pretty quickly anyway and without any fancy app magic.

Also, “no biggie?” I’m expecting them to follow with “everything is okie dokie”.

We won’t put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats. That would be totally rude. We want to see if we can deliver an experience that’s fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted.

Wow, now we’re going for the throat – modern ads are creepy. Funny, because the first ad on Snapchat is for the movie Ouija and it’s the definition of creepy. I get that they’re using creepy in a different way, but I still think it was an ironic choice of words.

Understandably, a lot of folks want to know why we’re introducing advertisements to our service. The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money.

Two points for honesty. Now if only they could have said it without the apology. Here’s the thing Snapchat, you want the ad money but you want everyone to think you’re taking the money begrudgingly? Oh please.

Just once, I want to see an app get excited about advertising. You have the ability to make it cool. You could have disguised that ad as a story from someone in the film. You could have launched an immersive visual puzzle. That’s what Universal is doing on YouTube, so why did you settle for a simple movie trailer as your first ad on Snapchat?

Predictably, the ad placement didn’t go over well. Some objected to the idea of advertising. Some were more upset by the content than the idea of advertising and other simply said, “nice try”

No matter how many people complain, it’s still a win for Universal Pictures because the Snapchat ad is doing just what a good advertisement is supposed to do – get us all talking.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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