Paid Social Blog Series: Unconventional, Thumb-Stopping Ads on Snapchat

Are you tired of seeing the same old ads on Snapchat? I hear you. That’s why I appreciate being served ads that take a different approach, stopping my thumb right in its tracks. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I end up with another toy my dog didn’t need. Here are five of my favorite Snapchat ads that caught my attention recently:

Ad #1: Crunchyroll – One Piece Feature

This One Piece promotional video ad from Crunchyroll was engaging, unique, and timely. The references to key characters and the new season are spot-on, capturing the interest of both newbies and die-hard fans.

What Sets It Apart: My feed is filled with TV and movie promotions that all follow a similar pattern. They showcase the top 10 trending must-watches featuring trending moments that can ONLY be seen on their platform. It’s not ineffective, but it gets old after the fifth time around. This is not as obvious, with Crunchyroll utilizing memorable references to the show, such as the wanted poster and the flames layered behind to complement it. The Snapchat ad is enticing enough to draw in newcomers and might even sway existing fans to switch over to Crunchyroll.

Ad #2: Mattress Firm – Better Sleep Makes You Less Thirsty

How do you make mattresses exciting? Create a video that is relevant to a younger audience that might be ready to finally upgrade from their hand-me-down mattresses. Rarely do you see a mattress company confront bad sleep in a funny, relatable way like Mattress Firm. 

What Sets It Apart: We have all seen mattress ads on Snapchat that promote “better sleep” and “less snoring from your partner.” Mattress Firm debunked the myth that mattresses are just for grown-ups. Plus, who knew a lack of second dates could be linked to your mattress? This paid social ad is quirky and funny, and it makes you stop scrolling.

Ad #3: Airbnb – A Trip Away From the Kids, All Kids

Airbnb gets it. Parents need a vacation, too, sans kids. Their ad speaks directly to weary parents, offering a solution to the 24/7 kid chaos.

What Sets It Apart: I expected a typical lifestyle ad, but Airbnb surprised me with charming animation and a clear message. It’s a clever pitch for some much-needed me-time.

Ad #4: Buffalo Wild Wings – Waddle Over for a Deal

Buffalo Wild Wings wasn’t top of mind when I was served this ad, but it did happen to settle a dinner debate in my apartment. When this ad was served to me, it wasn’t obvious that it was a promotion because your focus is mostly on the duck, supported by the offer to acknowledge afterward. 

What Sets It Apart: This ad is a perfect example of utilizing a trend successfully. It’s natural to stop and watch this video ad on Snapchat because it’s short and funny and gets the intended message across in a native format.

Ad #5: AT&T – Harness the Power of Street Fighter (and Speedy Internet)

AT&T hit a nerve with this ad. We’ve all been frustrated with slow Wi-Fi, but who expected a Street Fighter reference to save the day?

What Sets It Apart: AT&T ads typically have a strong, well-recognized branding, but that isn’t the focal point in the opening of this video ad on Snapchat. That unexpected shift, in combination with quickly recognizable pop culture references, makes it easy to watch and follow. 

Ad #5: Walt Disney World – A Trip to the Dark Side

Who doesn’t love a sweet video in their Snapchat feed? I initially assumed this was a video posted from a personal account and was surprised that the heartwarming content came straight from Disney. It’s short enough to stay interested but inspiring enough to create your own memories.

What Sets It Apart: It’s Disney magic at its finest. The content in this Snapchat video ad speaks for itself, drawing you in without feeling like a sales pitch.

In a Snapchat feed bombarded with the same old ads, stumbling upon something different feels like striking gold. Captivating Snapchat video ads may be few and far between, but when we find them, they make taking a pause worthwhile. Here’s to more ads that surprise, delight, and maybe even inspire us to tap that call to action button. 

As a business, consider adding Snapchat ads to your marketing strategy. Read our previous blog post, 6 Do’s & Don’ts for Creating Great Snapchat Ads, for tips on making compelling ads.

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