Snap is Bringing Digital Ad Creative Out of the Dark Ages – Though Traditional Agencies May Not be Ready
August 5, 2020
In our first-ever two guest episode, we talked to Jeff Miller, Senior Director, Global Creative Strategy at Snap and Alex Collmer, Founder and CEO at VidMob about the state of creative work in digital advertising. Jeff and Alex explore why now might finally be the moment that marketers embrace analytics and ad tech to improve the quality of their digital creative work and how platforms like Snap are shifting consumers’ expectations surrounding what constitutes an ad. In addition, they discuss how the pandemic has led brands toward producing ads on much shorter timelines, which has major implications for traditional ad agencies.
Hey guys, this is Mike Shields and this week on Next in Marketing, I got to talk to two great guests. Jeff Miller who leads Global Creative Strategy at Snap and Alex Collmer founder and CEO of VidMob. We went deep in the state of creative and digital advertising. We talked about whether brands were truly ready to marry data analytics with what has always been the artistic side of the business, and how the COVID crisis is causing CMOs to expect ads to be produced a whole lot quicker, what that means for the future of the good old fashioned creative agency. Let’s get started.
Hi everybody. Welcome to Next in Marketing I’ve got my first two guest podcast today we’ve got Alex Collmer, who is the founder and CEO of VidMob, who I’ve known for awhile. Then Jeff Miller who is senior director of creative strategy at Snap. Welcome guys,
Jeff (1m 1s):
Mike, thanks for having us do that.
Alex (1m 3s):
I’m really excited to be here.
Mike (1m 4s):
Most of you cannot see us, but Alex has a very distracting Snap toilet paper thing on his head and it’s taking everything in me to focus here.
Alex (1m 13s):
Well, when you’re, when you’re getting on with the global head of creative for Snap, got to make sure that the Snap camera is in play.
Jeff (1m 19s):
What he’s not telling you is he actually wears toilet paper on his head in all of his meetings, even pre COVID.
Mike (1m 28s):
That is actually not AR that’s actually just his head dress for the summer. Okay we’re off to weird start. But this is a cool topic. We spent a lot of different podcasts talking about streaming in the state of the targeting and the digital advertising business. Creative often gets the short shrift, I think in the industry coverage here and especially in digital. So I wanted to talk to you guys about the state of digital creative, especially in the context of consumer behavior shifts and the pandemic and everything going on. So I’m going to try to throw the question of both of you guys: how would you assess the state of digital creative right now?
Mike (1m 60s):
And that’s, you know, looking at everything from display, social media and across the board, or is it getting enough investment, attention? Is it getting better or worse? What’s going on? Alex will start with you maybe.
Alex (2m 9s):
So I actually maybe have a little bit of a non-conformist view here, but I think Creative is actually an incredible place. And I think sort of the common assumption is the move from sort of the larger television screen to mobile devices has kind of led to a, you know, less creative atmosphere. I just think that’s just totally wrong. You know, it’s just a different platform that requires different kinds of creativity and it doesn’t take too long within Snaps platform and others to see just how well it’s thriving.
Mike (2m 42s):
Yeah. I think, I think you’re right in general, we like to crap on digital creative cause of the banners is easy to beat up on historically. And then the story is always been on mobile – it’s smaller and worse and I think it’s probably not given enough credit, but Snap is known for being a creative hotbed. What’s the state of affairs for you guys and across the industry you have in your mind.
Jeff (3m 3s):
So when I think about creativity, certainly as a member of the creative strategy team here at Snap, we would like to think about it in two ways. First is how can we continue as an industry, think about new formats, the adoption of formats that are driven more towards active engagement versus passive engagement. And in that sense, you look at what we’re doing on our platform and what other platforms are doing leading into tools like augmented reality and sponsored lenses specifically on Snap where it’s really about using the full mobile screen to have an experience that feels like for the person that’s consuming it.
Jeff (3m 43s):
They are actually a part of the Ad, if you will. And in the best instances, it doesn’t actually even feel like an ad. The message is getting across, but it really is put in the hands of the consumer or the Snapchat community member, more so than it is the brand. And allowing that to be something that can be played with, if that can be shared, ah, that can be interpreted in that very personal way. So that sense of like active engagement is something that we’re continuing to push the boundaries. And I would say we’re still in the grand scheme of things, pretty early stages on the possibilities of creativity.
Jeff (4m 14s):
And so I think we’re on our way there, but getting clients and also community members to understand that behavior is clearly a cornerstone of getting broader adoption and impact from it. And then if I look at it in the context of ROI and ROAS a delivery, and that’s where, to Alex’s point, I think where we made great strides. If you think about the ability to make very custom creative in really programmatic and automated fashions, whether it’s on our platform with collection ads or looking across the industry at whole of doing things that feel highly personalized.
Jeff (4m 51s):
And I think that’s the type of thing that we’ll continue to see people leaning into. And then ultimately I think you’ll see things that kind of cut across both where you start to see people using the phone in itself to develop ad creative and that’s where it will drive that greater active engagement, a little less scalable, but I think that that notion of “less polished” is something that’s really been embraced by the industry now. And we’re seeing great impact from advertisers who have leaned into that in an endemic way.
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