Brands work with Snap to effectively engage with younger Indian audience: Dante DiCicco
DiCicco, Senior Manager- International Expansion, Snap Inc, spoke about the company's progress in India and how it has become a preferred platform for Indian brands
After ending 2020 on a high with 60 million users in India, Snap Inc has been expanding its presence in the market through new initiatives. The company launched its short-video platform Spotlight in India along with Mexico and Brazil. Spotlight was used by over 125 million Snapchatters globally in March. Snap also launched its first local market Snap Original, ‘Phone Swap’, in India.
How was 2020 for Snap in India and can you share some key performance indicators?
At the Snap Partner Summit, this year (2021), we announced that we grew our DAU over 100% year-on-year in each of the last five quarters in India. India is a key market for Snap and we are building on this momentum.
We continue to learn from our Indian community, and we see a natural connection with our community here. Snapchat is focused on visual, expressive communication with those we care about the most. This has become more important than ever in the wake of the global pandemic, and it’s been great to see how Indians have embraced Snapchat.
We have been working hard to make Snapchat both culturally and locally relevant. We are now available in 9 Indian languages. Furthermore, we have aired content from 30 partners on Discover, publishing content covering many diverse topics and genres. Each series is authentic to the creator’s passion and is available to more than 70 million viewers in India who have watched Snapchat Shows in the last year.
India is one of the few countries where Snap is creating Originals. Earlier this year, we launched India’s first Snap Original ‘Phone Swap India,’ a dating reality show in Hinglish. This is also the first non-English Snap Original. Last month, we launched our two new creator shows, ‘What’s on my plate’ with Anushka Sen and Vir Das - The Most Epic Max Show, for which have received a tremendous response. We have also invested in a range of creative tools for local cultural moments such as Diwali, Holi as well as regional festivals such as Pongal, Lohri, and Makar Sankranti. For example, our community played with Diwali-themed Lenses more than 500 million times last year.
We continue to expand our network of Indian partners and experiences into other aspects of Snapchat like SnapGames (Ludo Club), SnapKit (NDTV and Moj) and Here For You, our mental health and well-being feature in partnership with the Mariwala Health Initiative and Manas Foundation. We have also worked with leading mobile partners including Jio and Samsung to distribute our app on popular smartphones and drive creative programs such as ‘Jio’s Got Talent’.
We also launched Spotlight in India to empower Snapchatters to entertain our community while living up to Snapchat values, with our community’s well-being as a top priority.
Has the growth in user base translated into gains in ad revenue?
As Snapchat ads are full-screen, immersive and engaging they inspire action and work for all advertisers, from global brands, to small and medium businesses. Advertising on Snapchat allows you to connect with Snapchatters in a way that’s conversational, non-intrusive, and feels organic to the platform. Our ads are also tailored to advertising needs and business goals. With all the above, Snap has become a preferred platform for brands. We have worked with brands across sectors including Samsung, Intel Evo, HP, Nykaa, Spotify, One Plus, Swiggy and Amazon Prime Video to name a few.
How are you growing the ad business in India?
How are brands using Snap to engage with their customers?
What are your plans for 2021 and any specific areas that you will be focusing on as far as advertising is concerned?
We have further added a new round of technically advanced and fashion-forward features that make virtual shopping and ‘try-on’ experiences much more realistic, accurate and easy to use for our audience. We have also added new categories to Scan, to change the way we shop, browse, and find inspiration.
What have been the key learnings for Snap while working with Indian clients?
Indian brands are now looking for ways to creatively engage their audience. They want to be more expressive and are willing to try new formats to ensure they resonate with millennials and Gen Z. In a recent study of this group of Gen Z - which we call the Snapchat Generation, we found that they represent a new kind of consumer, one who is willing to immerse themselves in stories and experiences, using the latest tech and mobile convenience to their advantage. To ensure they resonate with the younger cohort, brands are now getting more inclined towards augmented reality, gamification and engaging advertising tools. As we continue to strengthen our presence in India, we do foresee a lot more brands engaging with our creative tools to create unique ad solutions, true to their brand identity.
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