Snapchat Introduces Extended Play Commercials

Snapchatters may start seeing longer non-skippable commercials on the messaging application with Monday’s introduction of new ad option extended play commercials, which enables brands to go as long as three minutes.

The new ad option was initially discussed by the company during Advertising Week New York in September, with Snapchat saying at the time that a movie studio could run a full film trailer instead of a six-second clip.

Extended play commercials retain the six-second non-skip format but give brands the ability to extend their content for up to three minutes. Snapchatters can skip the ads at any time after six seconds, however.

The new ad unit is similar to YouTube TrueView ads, with the exception that those ads on the Google-owned video site tend to be pre-roll, while commercials on Snapchat are mid-roll.

Snapchat said that while it considers its six-second commercials to be a successful offering, some brands may seek to repurpose existing 15-second video spots they have created for other campaigns and platforms, while others may simply want the opportunity to tell longer stories.

The company believes the flexibility that extended play commercials provides to video advertisers will help it gain more share of the overall online video advertising market.

Nissan and Comcast’s Xfinity brand were early testers of the new format.


Snapchat said extended play commercials are available in closed beta. Whitelisted advertisers can access them in Ads Manager. Brands who wish to request access can do so via their sales representatives or by reaching out to Snapchat via Ads Manager.

Six-second commercials debuted on Snapchat in May 2018, and they were extended to Snap Select shows in the app’s Discover section from premium publishers earlier this year.

Swipe-up capabilities were added to commercials in September.

Snap Inc. vice president of global agency partnerships David Roter said in an email, “We’re committed to building high-impact, long-form video ad formats, and extended play commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Generation Z and millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand safe Discover content.”

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