The amount of advertisements we are exposed to daily has grown exponentially in recent years. Yankelovich Consumer Research have reported “we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads per day in the 1970s to as many as 5, 000 a day now”. This is of absolutely no surprise to me as new avenues for advertising have been developed such as the ‘sponsored’ posts which been popping up on Instagram and Snapchat lately. So what’s going on?
Snapchat was launched in September 2011 and has grown to 100 million monthly active users with 400 million snaps being sent daily. In June 2014 it was thought to have 1, 070, 000 active Australian users. As a consequence of its exponential growth, Snapchat has been on the radar of many brands. Taco Bell experimented with Snapchat to engage with . The first ad was rolled out on Snapchat on Saturday 18 October, a 20 second exclusive movie trailer for ‘Ouija’ appearing in users’ feeds. Snapchat provided the parameters for the ad to Universal Pictures and its agency Maxus including that it had to be a video ad. In a blog post released by Snapchat before rolling out the advertisement, the company announced the advertising would not be targeted and will be non-intrusive to personal communication using the app.
Instagram was introduced in 2010 and bought by Facebook in early 2014. With more than 300 monthly users, it has officially become bigger than Twitter making it the most used social media platform. The number of users jumped from 200 million to 300 million in nine months. In June 2014 it was thought to have 1,600,000 active Australian users and no doubt this has increased since, making it an advertisers dream. Instagram introduced sponsored post advertising targeting US users in November 2013 and UK and Australian users in September 2014. The first partners to utilize this opportunity include Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Lexus, Levi’s®, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal and Starwood. This number of brands has grown in recent weeks. Sponsored posts (how advertising appears on Instagram) is targeted unlike advertising on Snapchat, using information about what you do on Instagram and Facebook (its parent company). This includes the people you follow, the photos and videos you like on Instagram, and your interests and basic information on Facebook.
These new avenues for advertising allow brands to increase salience and top of mind priority as they seamlessly penetrate into our lives. Salience refers to the notion of reminding the consumer you are still there so when they go to buy a product in your category, brand is top of mind. The idea behind advertising on these mediums is you will see and then remember the brand when you go to buy that product. I will use the example of Ben & Jerry’s. The concept is you will see their sponsored post when you are scrolling through Instagram in the morning. When you go to buy icecream that afternoon, you remember Ben & Jerry’s. Where do you think brands will be advertising next?