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Snapchat Announces New First Commercial Ad Offering

True to its name, First Commercial is...the first commercial any user sees when they watch Snap's premium shows in Discover. It's an unskippable six-second spot. 
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Last week, when Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman chatted with Laundry Service CMO Mike Mikho on Marketing Brew’s CMO Series, Mikho said his favorite ad unit is a Snapchat Lens.

But as of late October, Snapchat Lenses will have some competition from within. On Tuesday during Advertising Week, Snap announced that its “First Commercial” ad offering will officially roll out to all U.S. advertisers later this month.

First who?

True to its name, First Commercial is...the first commercial any user sees when they watch Snap's premium shows in Discover. It's an unskippable six-second spot.

  • Marketers can access the ad unit via Snap's Ads Manager.
  • First Commercial is tailored to mobile videos, and they will run exclusively within curated, brand-safe programming.

+1: Top digital video marketers worked on the product, including David Roter in 2019, who previously directed video and agency sales for Twitter, and Peter Naylor, who used to lead ad sales for Hulu.

Testing, testing…

Major advertisers including NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Tinder tested First Commercial in beta starting in April. Here’s what they found:

  • Brand awareness lift is more than 2x higher for brands whose first ad on the platform was a Commercial rather than a regular, non-prioritized Snap Ad.
  • Tinder’s cost per completed view on its First Commercial in beta was $0.04.
  • The daily average number of Snapchatters watching shows increased by over 45% year over year in Q2 2020. And as of Q1 2020, Snap reached a monthly audience of 10 million across 60 shows.

Zoom out: 2020 has made marketers increasingly concerned about brand safety on their social media marketing platforms—so an offering on a smaller platform that prioritizes brand safety could be ideal for marketers seeking refuge.

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