Universal Is First to Have Sponsored Promotion On Snapchat

/ Oct 21, 2014


This article originally appeared on [a]list Daily

By Robert Workman

Snapchat has taken its first steps into sponsored messaging with the debut of a new video ad for Universal Studios’ forthcoming horror film “Ouija.” The ad is currently located under users’ “recent updates” feed, where they would normally receive messages from friends.

This followed Snapchat’s previous announcement that it would begin looking into advertising, according to Adweek. The move, from what the company says, is an effort to “make money.”

“Advertising allows us to support our service while delivering neat content to Snapchatters. It’s going to feel a little weird at first, but we’re taking the plunge,” the company explained in a post.

The ad is a 20-second trailer for the film, which users can activate by pressing the prompted message in their screen. It’s optional to do so, and some are reportedly irked by the move, even going as far as heading to Twitter to voice their displeasure.

However, the choice to view the ad is completely optional, and those who don’t view it aren’t a problem, since Snapchat views it as “no biggie.”

Considering the film is rated PG-13 (instead of a hard “R” like most typical horror movies), Universal hopes that the partnership with Snapchat will reach out to a teen audience. That should be an easy outreach for the social site, as most of its audience consists of female users in their teens and early 20’s.

This isn’t the first time that a movie studio has reached out to a social site for a unique video offering that ties in with a film. Earlier in the year, Lionsgate teamed up with Facebook to produce an auto-play ad for the film “Divergent,” although the move did leave some users feeling bothered.

In addition to a Snapchat tie-in, Universal and Hasbro also teamed up with Thinkmodo to produce a video titled “Ouija Psychic Terror,” in which unsuspecting viewers are given a scare when a psychic medium uses a Ouija board and reads the word “RUN”, only to have her scream, bug-eyed and all, while a zombie bursts through the floorboards. Video of the promotion — and its effects — is below.

“Ouija” opens in theaters October 24th.

This article has been reprinted here with the author’s permission, and has been lightly edited from its original version. Alistdaily.com is the insiders’ source for editorial focused on entertainment marketing news, and a content partner with VideoInk. Follow [a]listdaily on Twitter @alistdaily or subscribe for the latest news, data, and more in your inbox.

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