Snapchat as ‘hippie’ and ‘not creepy’: Evan Spiegel talks ads, fun and feelings

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is at it again — explaining and pitching his company’s value to advertisers.

In a much higher-quality video than last week’s hilarious video explaining Snapchat, Spiegel discussed Snapchat’s “3V” approach to advertising. This model stresses how ads are “vertical,” made specific for smartphones, “video,” the “best way to tell a story,” and “views,” because they are always full screen.

Unlike Facebook and Google, which show ads before videos, Snapchat’s ads are placed in the middle of the content. With this approach, Spiegel believes that the “ads will really fit into the context of the story” while also respecting the user’s privacy, as Spiegel stressed that he “really cares about not being creepy.”

“With beautiful, full-screen advertising video on mobile, we can build ad products that respect our community and their privacy,” said Spiegel. “That’s something really important to us.”

At this year’s Cannes Lions, an annual advertising festival that drew in celebrities such as Pharrell, Marilyn Manson, and Kim Kardashian, Spiegel discussed how “everyone is so serious all the time” in tech, according to Business Insider. “There’s real pressure to do something that will appeal to the broadest base of people possible,” and creativity is often stifled by the fear of failure. This is why, Spiegel explains, Snapchat’s office environment emphasizes “fun” and “being playful,” which will “take the pressure off of being creative.”

Spiegel explains that the office does “stuff that’s kind of hippie I guess.” Each week, groups of 10 people within the company “talk about how we feel about things,” as listening is a core value to the company.

“The point is to emphasize the important of listening,” Spiegel said. “I don’t think we pay attention enough to just listening to people and how they feel. I know sometimes I’m so focused on what I’m going to say next, that I’m not listening to what they’re saying … I’m trying to get better.”

This playful and “built from the ground up” approach to advertising may explain Snapchat’s success. Snapchat — which allows users to send disappearing photos and videos — has 100 million daily users who watch 2 billion videos every day, according to Spiegel.

Photo: Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)


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