Political Spending on Snapchat on the Rise

Snapchat LogoPolitical campaigns are throwing more of their advertising dollars at messaging app Snapchat this cycle.


Bloomberg reports that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns have increased their spending on Snapchat recently. Clinton is buying video advertising while Trump is gathering email addresses through interactive advertising.

Snapchat is attractive to political campaigns because users are younger, and more engaged, than other social networks.

“Snapchat has reached a point here in the U.S. where we can’t ignore it anymore, and it’s definitely earned a line on every campaign budget,” said Tim Cameron, digital director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “We’re really using demographics to reach a larger audience. It’s not as specific as other tools but it works.”  The NRSC says it now spends more than 30 percent of its ad budget on digital messages, which include Snapchat.


In May 2015, Los Angeles-based Snapchat introduced its political ad program, and quickly made several high-profile hires: Rob Saliterman, who previously led Google’s political ad campaign, was brought on to run ad sales; and former CNN political reporter Peter Hamby joined to head news. While ad sales and news are kept separate at Snapchat, the two used their connections in the capital to bring Snapchat to Washington and promote it as a prime venue for political advertising. 


Snapchat has become the “MTV of Mobile,” according to Zac Moffatt, who co-founded Targeted Victory, an ad agency that works with Republican candidates.  “I would treat it like a cable network channel and say, I want to reach young people.”