Universal Pictures has branded the 20-second trailer for upcoming horror movie Ouija that was deployed using Snapchat a success, with the short clip being viewed by millions of US users last weekend.
The sponsored video represented the first paid content to be displayed on Snapchat. Earlier this month, CEO Evan Spiegel confirmed that ads would be coming to the photo messaging service, although initially suggested they would be deployed as part of the app's 'Stories' feature.
Universal had sought to access Snapchat for ads for a considerable time, and was fortunate that the timing of ads being launched coincided with a movie that fit the demographic reached by the platform. "We believed that the Snapchat user is in our core target user for the Ouija movie opening Friday," said Doug Neil, vice president of digital marketing at Universal, speaking the the LA Times. "If it hadn't been a movie tied to a teen audience, we probably wouldn't have taken this opportunity.
Snapchat has yet to comment on the ad, but an update on its blog prior to the ad said: "We won't put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats. We want to see if we can deliver an experience that's fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted. It's nice when all the brilliant creative minds out there get our attention with terrific content."