Bad ads, coming to a Snapchat near you

Image: snapchat screenshot

Two minutes. That’s all the time it takes to make a Snapchat ad with the company’s new tool released this week.

It used to take months, and for good reason. One of the beauties of advertising on Snapchat, since its debut in early 2015, has been a high bar for quality because the formatmobile, vertical, 10 secondswas so new and the ad itself was so expensive.

Now, the floodgates are opening. It’s a blessing for advertisers, but it could be a curse for usersand Snapchat.

Cue a flood of ads that maybe don’t look that impressive, a may not even have been designed for Snap.

For the case of the ad above, it’s a simple colored background, text on screen, and features a heart icon found on Instagram (ooo, harsh).

That’s a far cry from a 30-second television commercial but also much different than the early ads on Snapchat, where studios created 10-second versions of movie trailers.

With the release of Snapchat Publisher, more adsquickly crafted, without the support of a savvy strategistcould start appearing in the app, which isn’t fun for the user nor the older, experienced advertisers like those movie studios:

Image: snapchat screenshot

But Snap’s move was inevitable. We’ve seen it before on all the older online platforms: Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instagram opened up its floodgates in August 2015, and yeah, not every Instagram ad is great.

“There will always be good eggs and bad, but hopefully Snap really leans into user feedback to keep the creative threshold high,” said Mike Metzler, creative strategist at Delmondo, a creative studio and technology company that provides Snapchat analytics.

Snap is still keeping some control of the process. No ad goes live without Snapchat’s review (for now), but advertisers now have much more freedom to get weird.

“Advertisers want to be able to test before making big commitments on spend. So I think this will bring in a lot of new advertisers,” Metzler continued.

Those new advertisers will be crucial to Snap’s future.

Instagram will make up 20 percent of Facebook’s U.S. mobile revenue in 2017, according to eMarketer estimates. Snap Inc., which competes with the advertising juggernaut that is Facebook/Instagram, needs that cash boost too. And so come the easy-to-make, easy-to-buy ads.

And in the wake of it, laughable ads, like this “dancing” beer glass:

Image: snapchat screenshot

Unlike Instagram and other social apps, there’s a strange thing about Snapchat: low-quality ads may work in its favor. Laughable content may be exactly what makes a good ad because Snapchat itself is a platform for sharing fun and authentic photos and videos.

“I’m bullish on Snapchat’s ability and the allusion of blending user-generated content. Things on Facebook are very obvious to me that theyre an ad,” Derek Rubinstein, director at marketing agency Taktical Digital.

While Snapchat Publisher could make way for less creative ads, it’s not like ads prior to this week always impressed users. For example, there was this:

Clicking away? Not remembering the name of the brand? Not good for an advertiser.

Illan Nass, founder of Taktical Digital, while first admitting his own bias as being on the agency side, said Snapchat could avoid a reputation for low-quality ads by continuing to work closely with these partners.

Snapchat “doesnt sell all their own goods, someone else sells it for them,” Nass said. “The more Snapchat cares about the guys and girls on the ground, the better.”

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