Snapchat launched its first TV ad campaign this past weekend, and it's targeting one specific demographic: parents.
The ad, which you can watch below, billed Snapchat as its own special camera with augmented-reality capabilities. The ad, which aired Saturday during the NCAA Final Four games, explains that Snapchat can be used for all events in life.
The ad depicts people taking snaps of everyday events, with the final seconds saying anyone can use the app.
“It’s a camera for talking because a Snap says more than a text,” the ad’s copy reads, according to AdWeek. “So, yeah, Snapchat is a camera — where how you feel matters more than how you look.”
Snapchat’s ad seems to be targeted at parents and older Americans, who haven’t yet fully embraced the app. A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center indicated that 7 percent of people 50 and older use Snapchat, compared with 78 percent of those who were 18 to 24.
“The direction of the ad makes sense as an appeal to an over-25 demographic that spends most of its (time) on networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter,” according to Mashable. “Snapchat is trying to position itself as an alternative social platform that also lets you apply (computer-generated) dog makeup to anyone's face.”
However, as The Verge’s Megan Farokhmanesh wrote, Snapchat’s ad is a step away from what made the app appealing when it was first released.
She wrote, “by framing itself as another milquetoast social app designed for flaunting idyllic vacations and family reunions, the ad completely ignores what makes Snapchat appealing in the first place. Those highly curated shots are already going up on Instagram Stories. Snapchat is the place where you trade dumb jokes with your friends, non-essential thoughts, or show off the trashy nights you don’t want preserved past a five-second timer.”
What does this mean for teens? It’s long been reported that teen Facebook users left the app to avoid their parents, who were making up the bulk of Facebook users in more recent years. The same could be in line for Snapchat.
Snapchat has already been under fire in recent weeks after multiple celebrities tweeted against the app, causing its market value to fall. In February, Kylie Jenner tweeted that the app’s most recent update was “so sad” that she doesn’t open Snapchat anymore.
In March, Rihanna spoke out against the app for allowing an ad that asked if app users would rather “punch Chris Brown” or “slap Rihanna,” a reference to the two stars’ violent relationship history. Rihanna later spoke out against the app.Comment on this story
“Now Snapchat, I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there,” Rihanna wrote. “But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!” Rihanna said in an Instagram post.
Now long after, model Chrissy Teigen tweeted that she was done with Snapchat as well, especially after the Rihanna poll, according to Variety.
“The update, the constant complaints of people not being able to find me, plus the Rihanna poll … no bueno,” Teigen wrote.