The definition of what Snapchat ads can do keeps expanding. Over the weekend, Live Nation, one of Snapchat’s first key partners for Live Stories, launched an ad campaign on the platform designed to drive the sale of tickets to an upcoming Ariana Grande tour. The spots, which appear for users browsing Discover content, feature a brief message from Grande, sealed with a kiss. Users can then swipe up to head to a location-specific Ticketmaster page to buy tickets.
The campaign is not the first time a brand has sold items inside of a Snapchat ad – Lancome and Target debuted shoppable ads this spring, and more recently, Fox integrated with Fandango for a Snapchat campaign that drove ticket sales for the most recent installment of the X-Men franchise. But the Grande tour tickets, which start around $45, cost quite a bit more than a trip to the local multiplex; as of press time, the cheapest ticket remaining for Grande’s New York stop cost over $100.
Both Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, and Grande have been big believers in Snapchat: In 2014, Live Nation’s Electric Daisy Festival became the first subject of a Live Story, the content format that has since been used to cover everything from the Olympics to the Republican and Democrat National Conventions. This past summer, Grande created a music video comprised entirely of Snapchat filters.
While Snapchat has been busy growing the number of advertising products available to partners, it has not been prescriptive when it comes to how sponsors use them. It allowed the mobile developer Cookie Jam to run an app-install ad this past winter; Gatorade recently built a multi-level video game featuring Serena Williams that lived inside ESPN’s Discover channel as an ad. Inside the app, the Ariana Grande ads are confined to the United States, but in webview, a feature that allows people to watch Snapchat Stories from a web browser, the ads are visible globally.
And while it’s not trying to guide advertisers to use the products one way or another, it seems clear that Snapchat is happy to show off its e-commerce capabilities. “You can swipe up to buy a movie ticket, you can swipe up to buy a pair of pants,” Snapchat chief strategy officer Imran Khan said during a panel Monday at Advertising Week.
For advertisers that do not have e-commerce ambitions, Snapchat has plenty of research it can point to showing its ads’ effectiveness. According to research conducted by Millward Brown, Snapchat’s ads drive twice as much purchase intent as other mobile units.