Brands Move to Snapchat to Target Teens

This article from the British newspaper The Guardian, comments on the shift in youth social media trends that we have discussed in class.  The article explains that teens are not only moving away from Facebook and Twitter because their parents are using these sites but also because teens have such strong ‘fear of missing out’ when it comes to social media. As  teens are moving to these new platforms, brands are having difficulties advertising to teens on these new social media platforms.  Three of the most popular new platforms amongst teens are the messaging platforms Spanchat, Kik, and WhatsApp.  These sites are much less accommodating to advertising than traditional social media. In fact, WhatsApp has a “manifesto against advertising”.

The article does provide two examples of advertising efforts on these new platforms.  MTV UK and Ireland advertised for the new season of the hit show Geordie Shore, but the sophisticated tools for measuring the success of these efforts have not been developed. However, they were able to manually count that the Snapchat photos were accepted by 5,000 users, this was deemed a success. The UK retail outfit Co-Operative also ran a Snapchat campaign targeting students asking them to sign up for a discount code to get 30 pounds of a new laptop purchase. Apparently one out of five targeted consumers took part in signing up for the discount.

I found this article to be particularly interesting because I have yet to personally link mobile messaging platforms with advertising. I would personally be annoyed by these ads, just as I am annoyed when bars text my cell phone. However, I do become aware of the deals. I am interested to see what kind of innovative ads are used for this platform.


–          Do you believe that many brands will move towards advertising on mobile messaging platforms in the next six months?

–          Do you think advertising on sites like Kik and Snapchat will be effective?

–          Do you think WhatsApp will ever permit advertising on its site?


4 thoughts on “Brands Move to Snapchat to Target Teens

  1. 1) Yes, I believe brands who are looking to target the younger demographic will move towards advertising on mobile messaging platforms in the next six months. Most well-known brands are aware of the power of social media and are following the conversations their core consumers are having with their peers so they’ll undoubtedly realize that promoting their products/services via mobile messaging platforms will be just another way to gain brand awareness and affinity.

    2) Yes, I believe subtle uses of advertising on Kiki and Snapchat will be effective if done properly. Brands need to engage their consumers with a relevant call-to-action- to peak their curiosity. An interesting ad with money savings or a sweepstakes, for example, would be effective.

    3) If WhatsApp have, as the article says, “a manifesto against advertising,” I’d assume they’d never permit advertising on its site. They seem to take pride in this manifesto and are able to maintain their operations by charging a fee for app downloads. Perhaps to generate more money, WhatsApp will simply raise the 99 cent fee.

  2. 1) Yes, I think they will. A business will take every chance to promote their product.

    2) I doubt whether the advertising can be effective. I think whether those platforms will accept the advertising offer and whether the platforms users will like the advertising remain unknown. As it mentioned, one of the platform clearly refuse commercial advertising. Even though in such a social media market that advertising is basically everywhere (pop-ups unstoppable), QQ ( the leading message platform) is almost free of advertising.

    3) I hope it never give the permit. We so much need more commercial-free places. I think the key for social media platform to be successful nowadays is to have its unique feature, especially when it is to attract teenage users. Commercial-free is a good feature to me.

  3. I do think that more brands will move towards mobile platforms. We are already seeing that with the proliferation of these “alternate” social media platforms, advertisers are getting smarter and more creative in the ways that they advertise their brand. In mobile, they will have to rely on “inconspicuous” advertising in which advertisers don’t splash their logo all over their ad or make it obvious what they are advertising.

  4. 1) I think that it’s in brands’ best interests to find where teens are, so yes, absolutely we will be seeing more advertising on mobile messaging platforms very soon.
    2) In class yesterday we spoke about how SnapChat could monetize their platform, brand advertising and deals is just the perfect way. Although it may seem intrusive, teens are used to advertising everywhere. There could be a backlash, and we could see teens move to the “next big thing”, but I have a feeling they will just roll with it.
    3) If there is a manifesto on WhatApp stating they will never implement advertising, then I believe they will do the best they can to not implement advertising. However, it’s not unusual for companies to “readjust” their company mantra to be more profitable.

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