Snapchat Releases its New Mid-Roll Video Ad Format: Extended Play Commercials

By Grace Weselak

Earlier this month, Snapchat announced the release of its new video ad format known as Extended Play Commercials. This new format gives social media advertisers the opportunity to extend their mid-roll video ads from 6-seconds to a maximum of 3 minutes. While the first 6-seconds will remain non-skippable, marketers will need to ensure that the remaining skippable portion of the ad is enticing enough for users to continue watching voluntarily. Marketers hoping to merely reuse long-form videos that have worked on other channels will suffer from low video completion rates if the video doesn’t follow creative best practices native to the platform.

Some creative tips to keep in mind when editing your video for an Extended Play Commercial are; ensure clear branding early in the video, use purposeful sound design, and engage the user early on. Despite the availability of up to 3 minutes of video, 3 – 5 seconds is still the ideal time to drive action and encourage users to swipe up. However, if your brand’s goal is to drive awareness by getting the user to watch the full video, be sure to tell a cohesive story and optimize towards users most likely to watch for a longer duration of time. Since higher relevancy leads to higher swipe and conversion rates, it’s important to hone in on your audience targeting. Additionally, be sure to include branding within the first 3-seconds of your ad in order to increase ad recall and brand recognition.

This new ad unit will be displayed throughout Snapchat Shows found within Snapchat’s Discover section, which has increased 40% in total daily time spent watching year-over-year. Due to this premium placement among shows on the Discover platform, marketers should expect high CPMs. One way to combat this would be to run your ads on automatic placement in order to increase scale. However, this would jeopardize the likelihood that your ad would show up in a relevant commercial category, so advertisers should be mindful of maintain sufficient scale at a cost-effective price.

While Extended Play Commercials are still in beta, this new ad type is indicative of Snapchat’s commitment to grow its long-form video ad offerings and capitalize on the growing success it has seen among its Discover content.

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