Snapchat introduced a political docuseries to its chat-and-video app Thursday, with the first 4-minute, 30-second episode describing Iowa’s role in the presidential election process.
The Venice start-up had produced comedies and other shows before deciding to temporarily scrap content efforts last fall, but the premiere of “Good Luck America” shows politics is one area where Snapchat sees opportunity.
The series stars Snapchat’s head of news content and former CNN political correspondent Peter Hamby as he visited several campaign events in Iowa. In a colorful tone welcoming to political newbies, as many of Snapchat’s mostly under-25 users likely are, Hamby describes how long-shot candidates have always looked to early-voting states to help propel them into the national spotlight.
There’s also as much entertainment as information. In describing an event for presidential candidate Chris Christie, Hamby says of the New Jersey governor, “Christie is desperate for media attention. Good thing I was there.”
The show features production elements that Snapchat first experimented with last year, such as showing two sides of conversation simultaneously by training a different camera on each subject. It was a novel approach for vertically oriented video on smartphones.
Campaigns collectively have begun spending six-figure sums to buy an expanding variety of ads on Snapchat in hopes of driving young people in key states to volunteer and vote for them.
Most candidates, and even the White House, now have Snapchat accounts where they are posting photos and videos daily. With the company looking to reach aggressive revenue goals, the 2016 election represents a goldmine.
Episodes of “Good Luck America” will air on major dates throughout the election season, and are accessible by clicking an icon in the app’s Discover news section on those days.