Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snapchat, took to the stage on the second day of Cannes Lions 2015 with Joanna Coles, editor, Cosmopolitan.
Spiegel explained how brands should look to present themselves on the medium: "The product is built for people. So, brands should try being like people and change at the pace of humans. But, they shouldn't try being buddies either. Being friendly is okay, but buddies isn't."
The duo discussed Snapchat 'Stories' and how it's being used as a news service. Spiegel said, "A year ago we launched Cities - a collection of videos from contributors in that city (which was featured). We had a story recently in Charleston after the shooting. We feel these (stories) have the depth that news channels won't be able to give, because of the amount of contributors to each story. We feel a sense of responsibility during such times. Earlier, we did only stuff like (video) contributions from basketball games. Then we looked to get out of familiarity. We've hired journalists to figure how to do this."
Coles pointed out that Snapchat had 15 million people sending in stories on New Year's Eve (2015). ABC, the channel with the biggest coverage of the day in America, has five million viewers. The conversation moved to creativity in using the medium.
"One of the saddest things about creativity is that people are scared of being creative and different. A lot of them feel creativity is about doing something unusual. We like being fun and playful. It takes the pressure off being creative. In the field of technology people are always too serious. We want to have fun," said the founder of Snapchat.
On the deployment of the platform for ads, Spiegel said, "People were using TV and desktop ads for mobile screens. We found out that no one rotates their phones while watching a video. That's what we worked on. We then added videos in the middle of a story versus placing them at the beginning. This makes people watch the ads too. One example of this was the recent Father's Day activity with P&G. In the middle of the story we had a Tide ad. It fit the context. We love it when the advertising fits the story. These ads (of the shorter variety) are gaining more currency. It's been fun for advertisers too. People want to watch great creatives. If everyone advertised effectively, then advertising wouldn't stand out!"