Snapchat takes swipe at competitors’ under-emphasis on sound, calling muted video advertising ‘moving banners’

Snapchat at Dmexco

Snapchat believes sound is quintessential to advertising, arguing this is the platform’s advantage over those competitors whose users are less inclined to engage with audio in video advertising, or less encouraged to do so.

Snapchat’s chief strategy officer Imran Khan, formerly of Alibaba fame, took to the stage at Dmexco today (14 September) to highlight the platform's unified product creation team.

“One of most interesting things is we don’t have a separate advertising product teams,” he told delegates, “The people creating consumer products, our key designers, are the same people creating advertising products.”

Advertising on Snapchat was the focal point of the talk, as Khan attempted to dispel myths of a lack of measurement or return on investment on the young platform. Snapchat, still less than five years old, has already introduced nearly a dozen new products and iterations in that period, with many of those updates focused on reeling in brand partnerships.

“You cannot survive with a stale product,” he said, adding that investments in the camera, content and communication aspects of the platform are still “only at the beginning in terms of innovation”.

Putting advertisers first and foremost through the creation of engaging ad formats, including lenses, geo-tagging, Snap Ads among others, is what Snapchat believes gives it a key advantage over its competitors.

Khan argued that competitors were selling nothing short of "moving banners" by not putting enough emphasis on sound in video advertising,something fundamental to Snapchat’s shortform video identity. “If you tell a story without sound it is not really that powerful. When you are buying advertising without sound you are not buying video you are buying moving banners," he said.

Meanwhile Khan spoke of the inception of Discover to provide “context and commentary” plus a “strong editorial voice” to its Live stories. He said while “the editor’s voice is getting lost with [Facebook's] Newsfeed”, Snapchat gives more opportunity to publishers to breakthrough by having individual sections rather than a “never-ending feed”.

“It’s why we called our section Discover - so you can find the editor’s perspective,” he added.

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