Snapchat Is Trying to Lure Brands That Already Run Vertical Video Ads on Instagram Stories

Its Accelerate for Social program dangles credits to new advertisers

The bait? Snapchat ad credits
Photo Illustration: Yuliya Kim; Sources: Snapchat

Snapchat has begun dangling free ad credits to non-Snapchat advertisers that have run vertical video ads on Instagram Stories, as well as on other platforms including Pinterest and mobile publishers AdColony, ChartBoost and Vungle.

Snap Inc.’s sales department and Snapchat Partners have been reaching out to brands to gauge their interest.

Snap is directing those brands to Accelerate for Social, where they are asked to provide their names, work email addresses, Snapchat business account IDs (with a link for those without them to create them), PDFs of documents such as invoices to prove that they have run digital ads during the past three months and the vertically oriented creative that they would like to run on Snapchat.

Brands that are selected to participate will receive Snapchat ad credits worth “several hundred dollars,” a source told Kurt Wagner of Recode.

Snapchat would not reveal the names of specific companies it has approached, or if any had participated in Accelerate for Social, calling it a “brand-new program” and saying that it takes a few weeks to assess the success of campaigns.

The company did say that it is targeting “mid-market advertisers” with ad types including direct response, mobile application install and ecommerce.

Snapchat touted the effectiveness and affordability of its ads during its fourth quarter and full year 2017 earnings call last week, with chief strategy officer Imran Khan saying the company doubled its total revenue from app install campaigns since the beginning of the fourth quarter, while also lowering its advertisers’ cost per install, and chief financial officer Drew Vollero adding, “Overall Snap Ad pricing, excluding Promoted Stories, was down more than 15 percent sequentially and nearly 70 percent year over year.”

Meanwhile, Facebook has been trending in the opposite direction, saying during its fourth quarter and full year 2017 earnings call last week that its average price per ad rose 43 percent during the three-month period.