Snap will try to turn Snapchat viewers into buyers with its first-ever “shoppable” original show: “The Drop,” focused on “exclusive streetwear collabs” from celebrities and designers.
The company — in its debut Digital Content NewFronts presentation for Madison Avenue types — also announced the renewal of “Driven,” an original series about custom cars, for Season 2; and a new Verizon-sponsored show, “Fake Up,” in which makeup artists compete in creating eye-popping optical illusions.
Snap’s NewFronts session marks the public debut for Peter Naylor as VP of sales for the Americas, two months after he exited Hulu after more than six years.
“When I was at Hulu, I was always looking at Snap out of the corner of my eye,” Naylor said in an interview, adding that he has two Gen Z daughters who are big Snapchat users. “I’m a selfish sales guy: I want to bring a beautiful product to market.”
Snap’s “absolute strength with the Gen Z” is “undeniable,” Naylor said. “There’s still an opportunity to educate people when they know the old plays won’t deliver the same results… Now is the time for us to come out with this awesome content for a hard-to-reach audience.”
The meat of Snapchat’s advertising spiel centers on audience and engagement metrics, which are especially strong among younger demos. In the U.S., Snapchat says, it reaches over 100 million people monthly. That includes 90% of those 13-24 — more than Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger combined, according to Snap. In addition, Snapchat claims it has more U.S. daily active users age 25 and up than Twitter’s entire U.S. monetizable daily active user-base across all age groups.
And more than half of the U.S.’s Gen Z population has watched at least one Snap Original, Naylor said: “It’s scale that turns marketers’ heads.”
Other stats: 45 Discover channels reached a monthly audience of over 15 million unique viewers in the first quarter of 2020, and more than 80% of Snapchat’s daily viewers watch content on Discover at least three days per week. Over 80 million people viewed coverage of coronavirus on Snapchat, the company says.
In addition to Naylor, Snap’s NewFronts presentation will feature presentations from execs including chief business officer Jeremi Gorman, CMO Kenny Mitchell, head of editorial content Rachel Richardson, and director of content Vanessa Guthrie.
Snapchat’s NewFronts pitch comes after the company made several programming announcements at the Snap Partner Summit earlier this month. That included news of multiyear deals with Disney, ESPN, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, the NBA and the NFL to expand content for Snapchat’s Discover platform, as well as a slate of originals including those from Kevin Hart, Catherine Hardwicke and Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”).
The company also announced at the Snap Partner Summit that it’s introducing an “Action Bar” for navigation within Snapchat that brings Discover to the forefront of the app — an effort to expose curated content to as broad an audience as possible.
“The Drop” is the first Snap Original that features commerce as part of the narrative, although Snapchat has long run ads that allow users to link out to make purchases. The show comes from video commerce platform Ntwrk. The unscripted series premieres later this year with new episodes airing weekly.
Each episode of “The Drop” will explore the relationship between the designer and celebrity collaborator. Viewers will learn about the item for sale and how it came together as well as what time that day the item will go up for sale. Later that day, at the aforementioned time, the episode will be updated with more content that includes a “swipe up to buy” call to action. The exclusive-to-Snapchat products will have limited quantity, an appeal for viewers to tune in live. (Snap is not announcing partners or celebrity talent slated to appear in “The Drop,” at this point.)
“You’re going to see people chase the T-commerce trend,” Naylor said. “It’s so easy to imagine shoppable content when you’re on a mobile device, which is two-way and easy to transact a purchase.”
Snap’s other new original show, “Fake Up,” is produced by Mission Control Media. The company is partnering with Verizon on a brand collaboration for the show: “Fake Up” features augmented-reality filters within the show (another first) by letting viewers try on custom Lenses that bring the show’s makeup illusions to life — and try it out on their own face. Each of the Lenses will be sponsored by Verizon, and Snap also will have a special 5G experience available to Verizon customers.
In “Driven” Seasons 2, the entourage of young entrepreneurs at PTG365 deliver flashy, custom cars to celebrities and high roller clients using nothing but their phones — and a whole lot of hustle. The next season of the docuseries will premiere either in late 2020 or early 2021. According to Snap, Season 1 of “Driven” was a hit with over 15 million Snapchatters having watched the show.
About a year ago, the company launched Snap Select, its program to sell 6-second non-skippable ads in a bundle of top content on Discover on a fixed-CPM basis. Snap introduced “Extended Play Commercials” last November, letting ads run up to 3 minutes (skippable after the 6-second mark). And two months ago, Snap debuted First Commercial, a new video-takeover solution that lets advertisers own the influential first commercial a user sees when they tune into Snap’s shows.