20th Century Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie” will be the first advertiser to take advantage of a brand-new ad format on Snapchat.
The popular entertainment app’s tens of millions of U.S. users will be able to animate selfies on Saturday to make it look like they’re gobbling up candy corn as Snoopy dances by them in between virtual pumpkins. Friends who view the selfies will see Snoopy’s best friend, Woodstock, dancing atop the sender’s head. And the “Linus and Lucy” theme song sounds over it all. The movie hits theaters next week.
The “sponsored lens” will be accessible by pressing down on the screen when on the Snapchat photo-taking screen. The app also has a rotating selection of similar animations that are unaffiliated with an advertiser, like one that puts hearts over eyes.
It’s the second new form of advertising to appear on Snapchat this week. On Monday, Sony Pictures and MGM used Snapchat to feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and crew interviews for the new James Bond movie “Spectre.” The studios purchased the right to make a button linking to the content the first one most Snapchat users saw when they went to access new posts from friends.
Snapchat has aggressively expanded ad sales in the second half of this year, with more options for advertisers and more spots to fill. On Friday, the app featured videos and articles produced by Snapchat on the history of Halloween and how it’s celebrated. Included were ads for the new Starz show “Ash vs. Evil Dead” and “Jurassic World” DVDs.
Snapchat is hiring ad sales workers for a new London office, according to media reports. Snapchat wasn’t accounted for in corporate marketing budgets for 2015, but it is for 2016 as planning gets underway, experts say.
Snapchat recently began charging users a small fee for extra features, but tens of millions of dollars in ad sales are expected to account for most of the 4-year-old company’s revenue this year. It’s still far from profitable, as rapid hiring, office leasing and product development chew through cash.
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