Snapchat continues user grab with first global ad push around ‘Real Friends’

Snapchat is marching on with its hunt for new users, investing in its first global ad campaign that positions it as an app where ‘Real Friends’ can connect.

The push, launched on International Friendship Day, follows on from a bumper second quarter for Snap in which it attracted 13 million users, well above the 2 million forecast by analysts and a figure that eased investor and advertiser jitters significantly following years of sluggish growth.

Developed by Snap’s in-house creative team with help from SpecialGuest, ‘Real Friends’ shines a spotlight on how the app cultivates authentic and lasting friendships. A series of short videos feature real messages shared between different sets of people from across the world.

The work is the first unveiled under Snap’s first chief marketing officer Kenny Mitchell, who joined from McDonald’s in April.

Upon launch, paid media will begin running across cinema, broadcast, print and digital channels in countries including the US, India and Australia and continuing through the autumn in European markets.

A teaser campaign has been running in the lead up to the launch, highlighting quotes about friendship across OOH, print, Spotify and more. A ‘hashtag takeover’ also took place on Instagram, with Snapchat paying influencers to post friendship quotes on a Snap yellow-hued background using #RealFriends and #FriendshipQuotes.

For the hero campaign paid media will begin running across cinema, broadcast, print and digital channels in countries including the US, India, and Australia and continuing through the autumn in European markets.

Snapchat has 203 million users. It currently counts 83 million people as logging in daily in North America. In Europe it has 64 million users and a further 56 million globally. Year-on-year, its daily average revenue per user has jumped 42% in the US and Canada, and 42% in Europe.

Though Snap is seeking to position itself as a more authentic app than rivals like Instagram and Facebook, it is still lagging behind. Facebook currently has 1.56 billion daily users, while Instagram has 1 billion monthly users, 60% of which it claims log in daily.

Snap’s strong second-quarter performance, however, has left analysts optimistic about the app’s future. As well as posting strong user growth, it also noted a year-on-year revenue bump of 48% to reach $388m.

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