Snapchat Now Running Ecommerce Ads; Telco And Ad Tech Strengthen Ties

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Snappy Retort

Snapchat kicked off ecommerce ads last week, with Target and Lancôme running formats where users are shown a 10-second call-to-action spot, after which they can either swipe up for more product info or down to go straight to a mobile shopping page. Meanwhile, Business Insider reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign “invented the Snapchat attack ad,” which uses Snapchat’s face-swap feature to make jokes at Donald Trump’s expense. Neither effort has demonstrated much ROI, but it is an indicator of how flexibly Snapchat can deploy ad products as the tech and metrics are put in place.  

Deep Telco Thoughts

“More than ever before, telecommunications and ad tech companies are joining forces to stay ahead of the market,” writes Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise in a column at MediaPost. Enterprise tech giants like IBM and agency-holding companies have flexed their purse strings, but the most consequential deals (citing Verizon/AOL and Telenor/Tapad) are being made by telcos. Wise attributes telcos incubating ad tech to a couple things: (1) the value of TV, which is fat and ripe with data, emerging connectivity and advertising dollars and (2) frosty public markets that don’t believe in nonplatform start-up ad tech. “There is no oxygen left in the room to fuel an ad tech IPO,” says Wise.

Waiting? Or Iterating?

Wired still isn’t ready to share details, but three months into an experiment where the pub started detouring adblock users – asking that they either whitelist Wired, subscribe or, well, hit the road – "the uptake in whitelisting has exceeded our expectation; the subscriptions have gone better than we projected; the abandon rate has been lower than we projected," says head of product and business development Mark McClusky. Other pubs have followed up with similar strategies, including The New York Times, but as Jeremy Barr points out in Ad Age, there’s no fixed date or end goal in sight for how these supposedly temporary “experiments” will reach their conclusion. Read on.

“Artificial” Intelligence

Google takes heavy flak for leveraging its browser and search dominance to push consumers toward other services like news, maps, ticket booking and ecommerce options ahead of independent competitors. But with that precedent in place, would-be Google rivals are following the same route, reports The Wall Street Journal. Microsoft’s digital AI assistant, Cortana (think Siri or Google Now), will only funnel users through Microsoft’s Edge browser and Bing search. We’ll see if the contentions with Google come down to the model or its unique scale. More.

Olympics For Millennials

Comcast, which paid $1.2 billion for the rights to air the Olympics on NBC in the US, has tapped Snapchat and BuzzFeed to produce live, behind-the-scenes video. It’s the first time NBC has ever allowed other platforms to distribute live Olympics clips and highlights. NBC exec Gary Zenkel tells Bloomberg that Snapchat “is very important to our efforts to assemble the large, massive audience that will show up to watch the Olympic Games.” Comcast is splitting revenue from the ads Snapchat generates through the content. Bloomberg has the story.

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