When it comes to advertising, any business knows that the best approach is three-fold; go where your customers are, choose a demographic, and show them something they want. This leads to better engagement and retention with ads, with users remembering the advertisement and often ending up making a purchasing decision springing from it. For Adidas at least, it seems that one advertising outlet has shown itself to be head and shoulders above another for their purpose. Specifically, their marketing department is reportedly seeing 80 to 90 percent greater retention with Snapchat content than with ads on YouTube, calling the growth and retention "insane". This seems to be mostly thanks to organic, user-driven growth through the app's unique feature set, along with the use of partners and their created content that may include Adidas product placement.
While using partner content that would interest users for prominent product placement is not exactly a new tactic, Adidas is experiencing tremendous success with the approach on Snapchat. While this could be credited in part to a demographic overlap between Snapchat users and typical Adidas buyers, the brand has been making good use of Snapchat's full feature set, as well. One example is with Geofilters, which allow nearby users to see an event or piece of content that would otherwise be more private, perhaps only among the friends of the creator. This feature not only allows more Adidas-centered user content to make its way to a wide range of users, but allows Adidas to put their own mark on otherwise marginally related events, such as rapper Stormzy's birthday party, which ended up being seen by roughly three million people due to the use of a Geofilter. This jives with Snapchat's strategy to emphasize engagement in drawing ads away from competitors, and translates into phenomenal engagement and retention.
To put that into laymans' terms, users are viewing Adidas' ads on Snapchat for a longer time and more reliably than on YouTube. Both platforms boast the ability to let users skip ads after a certain time, but it seems that the type and richness of content is the big differentiation when it comes to Adidas' video advertisements. Snapchat's platform thrives on what are called "Stories", interlocking series of video and picture content that can be set up to a user or advertiser's liking. Adidas has been running Stories on Snapchat lately that feature an appeal beyond just their brand, such as musicians and Adidas athletes creating behind the scenes content for a music video that features prominent Adidas branding. This approach means that Adidas can grab consumer mindshare and organic growth without resorting to traditional advertising approaches. Adidas representatives insist that their success on Snapchat is largely owed to their dynamic lineup of partners.