The Snap Inc. IPO brought with it all of the pageantry the New York Stock Exchange could muster. The logo was festooned from every post as the handsome entourage of Co-Founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, accompanied by NYSE Group President Tom Farley, paraded around the trading floor with Spiegel’s supermodel fiancée, Miranda Kerr, in tow. Even CNBC‘s Jim Cramer couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. He jumped from his seat to show the audience a selfie he took with Evan Spiegel.
My ears perked up when CNBC’s David Faber said that Snap “will force advertisers to be creative.” The camera app, known for its quirky filters and a deluge of user-generated content (UGC), draws users to it an estimated 16 times per day. Now that management will have to report quarterly earnings, growth in advertising revenue will be critical to Snap’s success. As advertisers are instinctively drawn to bright and shiny objects, they will still flock to Snap. When the luster inevitably wears off, Snap needs to demonstrate a stickiness that propelled it to its IPO to capture the increasingly competitive ad dollar.
How Can Snap Inc. Force Advertisers to Be Creative?
The audience Snap attracts is coveted, highly mobile, and resides in a noisy marketplace. Standing out in the crowd will require a data driven, native content approach and inexhaustible creativity to fuel it. The shrinking time frame for that execution presents a challenge as the 30-second spot has become a blindingly fast .30-second one. Marketers have to set new parameters around repetition to raise brand awareness because the architecture of these narratives is complex. The daunting task of creating intimacy in a swarm of narcissists isn’t easy. Whether to like, share, or buy, creative teams must stay nimble and adapt to the players around them.
When Snap Inc. opened trading on NYSE, its valuation soared to more than $28 billion. Its core business facilitates the sharing of UGC from the camera in new and creative ways. As advertisers will pay the freight for this endeavor, Snap will have to find a balance similar to its predecessors Google and Facebook. David Faber was right, Snap will force advertisers to be creative, but the onus will fall on it to keep them coming back.