Snapchat Begins Testing Dynamic Ads That Work Off Brands’ Product Catalogs

Several design templates are available for the format

Made-for-mobile templates and designs will enable brands to find visually appealing ways to showcase their products Snapchat
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Snapchat will conduct an open beta-test of dynamic ads that enable brands to automatically create ads in real-time based on their own product catalogs, which can contain hundreds of thousands of items.

As a result, users will see more relevant ads based on their interest, and those ads will be delivered through templates that will enable advertisers to up the quality of their creative.

Advertisers can begin reaching out to Snapchat starting Thursday to participate in the open beta, which will kick off with just U.S. users before going global in the coming months.

Snapchat said it sees dynamic ads as having the most appeal for retail, ecommerce and direct-to-consumer brands.

The company touted its wide array of design templates for the ad format, saying that the made-for-mobile templates and designs will enable brands to find visually appealing ways to showcase their products.

Snapchat also pointed to the simplicity of the creation process, saying that brands do not have to manually create these ads, instead merely syncing a catalog, determining their target audience and letting the messaging application’s system handle the rest, in real-time.

Also, as changes occur, such as to the price or availability of product, Snapchat’s dynamic ads will adjust accordingly.

Being able to tap into entire catalogs will give brands a larger pool of ads to choose from, which Snapchat sees as improving the experience for end-users while boosting return on investment for advertisers at the same time.

Snap Inc. group product marketing manager, direct response Kathleen Gambarelli said in an email, “Snapchat has become a go-to destination to reach the largest and most economically influential generations in history, millennials and Generation Z. Snapchat dynamic ads now allow brands to create real-time optimized mobile ads quickly and at scale, with products showcased in visually-appealing templates that feel native to the app. More than 75 percent of the 13- through 34-year-old U.S. population is active on Snapchat, and daily Snapchat users open the app over 20 times each day, offering brands major opportunities to reach the right person with the right message at the right time.”

Brands that have already been testing Snapchat dynamic ads include Princess Polly Clothing, Vitaly Design and Shady Rays Polarized Sunglasses, and they weighed in via email.

Princess Polly Clothing digital marketing manager Kim Zorn said, “In the past month, we jumped on the opportunity to test Snap’s dynamic ads for our U.S. based re-engagement efforts, and we have seen exciting early results. While we previously found success with Snap Ads, we loved the idea of combining personalized creative with promotional messaging to drive purchases. At this time, we are seeing our dynamic ads campaign drive a 66% decrease in cost per purchase and a 171% increase in return on ad spend compared with similar product-focused campaigns running in the U.S.”


Vitaly Design director of marketing Joe Cornfield added, “Testing Snap’s dynamic ads was an easy and natural extension of our current cross-platform ecommerce initiative. We were able to reuse our existing product feeds to create high-quality and full-screen ads, which not only saved us time, but also showcased our products in their best light possible. These ads are clearly resonating with Snapchatters, as we’ve seen a 21% decrease in cost per purchase and a 29% increase in ROAS—great results to see right before the holiday season.”


And Shady Rays founder and CEO Chris Ratterman said, “In the third quarter, we started out testing Snap’s latest capabilities around dynamic ads. Having used its catalogs to manually create ads in the past, we were excited by the prospect of automating this process end-to-end. Although it’s early, we’re seeing very promising results, as our dynamic ads campaigns are driving a 66% decrease in cost per purchase and a 286% increase in ROAS compared with our 2019 retargeting initiative running simultaneously.“

Snapchat David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.