Snapchat targets ad dollars in Asia as it opens SG office and hires SEA lead

Social media app Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has plans to open an office in Singapore this year. According to a press release, the company is currently monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic, and following local guidance by encouraging remote working. Once the situation eases, the company will accelerate plans to establish a local presence. The Singapore office will also strengthen Snap’s support for its multinational brand advertising partners based in the APAC region. According to Snap, the Southeast Asia region has grown in importance for the company over the past 12 months. Marketing has reached out to Snap for additional information.

Jared Grusd, chief strategy officer, Snap said it is excited to grow its business in Southeast Asia. "It is one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse parts of the world. We are inspired by the response from our community in this region who embrace communicating visually with their close friends and family," he added.

Meanwhile, Snap has hired Anubhav Nayyar as director of Southeast Asia market development, where he will lead Snap's efforts across the Southeast Asia region. Being the first Singapore employee, Nayyar will be part of the international markets team, which is led by its managing director, Nana Murugesan. The international markets team is responsible for Snap’s growth strategy, expanding company operations in key global markets, driving cultural relevance, and building its community with a range of programs and local partnerships including with telecommunication providers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Prior to joining Snap, Nayyar spent seven years at calling and messaging app Viber where he was the senior director and head of Asia Pacific. Nayyar was Viber’s first regional employee, and was responsible for establishing it as a leading messaging app in multiple countries in Asia as well as setting up operations across the region. Nayyar also previously helmed the role of head of marketing at Costa Coffee, as well as brand manager at Nestle, according to his LinkedIn page.

Nayyar said: “Southeast Asia as we know it is a geographically expansive and populous region, filled with rich, diverse cultures. Snap wants to celebrate and support this diversity and I can’t wait to get started building and growing our strategic partnerships, local content, and community across the region."

Kathryn Carter, general manager for ANZ, SEA and HK at Snap, there is a huge opportunity for brands to expand their reach across the region. She added that Snapchat reaches 85% of 13 to 24 year old consumers in Australia, and its growing audience in the Southeast Asia region offers advertisers a unique opportunity to reach a generation of consumers who are driving the post COVID-19 recovery. "We are excited to work closely with clients in a region, which has always been respected for its digital prowess, innovation, and embrace of new technologies," she said.

Over the past year, Snap has launched initiatives such as localised augmented reality (AR) lenses and creative tools across Southeast Asia. These include lenses for holidays such as Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, as well as events such as Java Jazz festival and Football Association of Malaysia matches against Thailand and Indonesia. It has also provided promotional offers and strategic partnerships with OEMs such as Vivo and telecommunication providers across the region, including Indosat and Maxis. Additionally, Snap conducted beginner Lens Studio workshops at secondary schools and universities including Sunway and Taylor’s universities in Malaysia, and The University of Indonesia to support the development of AR skills in the region.

Earlier this year, Snapchat saw a rise in its number of app installs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the social media app, installs after seeing an ad on its platform increased by 36%, while swipe-up rates have seen a 19% increase overall during late March this year compared to late February. This is in line with industry-wide shifts towards mobile activity. At the time of writing, over 445 Discover Stories or Shows have been produced on COVID-19, and more than 68 million users globally have watched COVID-19-related content on the platform, Snapchat said. As users practice social distancing, Snapchat said news and financial sites also saw increases in activity as consumers sought to stay informed and plan accordingly in the current environment.

Related Articles:
Snapchat encourages friendly competition with in-house leaderboard games
Snapchat brings on board DoubleVerify as viewability and brand safety partner
Snapchat wants consumers to express themselves with Bitmojis this Malaysia Day