February 25, 2024

Anna Dobbert

Hot Take: Why I Hate Snapchat’s Super Bowl Ad


During the Grammys on February 4th and the Super Bowl on February 11th, my friends and I (who all work in marketing) were immersed in watching the ads as intently as we did the music awards and the big game. We were eager to see where marketers had devoted their budgets and time and which brands would stand out. Advertising during those high-profile, mega-viewer events enables brands to reach a massive audience, so I had high expectations.

But I found that overall, the ads fell short this year. I didn’t feel as excited about them as in the past. “Mediocre” (at best) is how I would describe them. And even though the ads as a whole set the bar low, one ad in particular left a sour taste in my mouth: Snapchat’s “Love.”

Nothing to Love about Snapchat’s “Love” Ad

As the commercial begins, we see a seemingly plain ad — white background and black text — and wonder: Is it Apple? Something new? What is this about?

My curiosity swirled around, and I thought the ad might take an anti-social media stance. I expected that soon the screen would fill with information about social media’s effects on youth’s mental health or how the infiltration of AI-generated images poses a threat to media literacy as we know it. However, my inquisitiveness was short-lived as oddly distorted faces, random bursts of color and sound, and then (you guessed it) the Snapchat logo filled the screen.

I gotta give it to Snapchat; I didn’t expect the ad to travel that trajectory. But I was disappointed. I was primed to witness the unveiling of some new platform, features, or tech that would combat, change, or course-correct the giant social media train we are all riding.

Instead, we were served an attempt to rebrand the app known for washed-up influencers and pre-teens.

Additionally, I hate the ad from a design perspective. It starts with plain text alongside a photo, then quickly, the text becomes more voluminous and faster, crossing over photos and just making a general mess. Initially, I assumed this was an intentional way to convey how social media is becoming oversaturated and cluttered, and I expected the ad to transform and reveal something new, sleek, and peaceful to combat the visual noise. But the opposite happens! Over-the-top sounds and imagery dominate the screen, and I pointedly remember the frown that crawled onto my face when I saw the ad for the first time.

My Puzzling Disappointment: Why Do I Care So Much About This Ad?

Here’s what I think:

Companies these days will spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns that paint them as something different and paradigm-shifting rather than make or invest in technology that actually is transformative.

Snapchat isn’t revolutionizing social media by being a platform without followers or a “likes” component; if anything, it just provides a means for teenagers to hide beneath their parents’ radar to text whomever they want.

Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but I must say I expected more from Snapchat’s ad — and I had hoped the company would take the opportunity to demonstrate a dedication to making meaningful change.

Technology is developing at a rapid pace, and we can create content and connect with others more now than ever before. Yet I feel (and fear) that none of it has genuinely improved our experience as humans on this Earth.

Your turn! I welcome your thoughts about this year’s Super Bowl commercials and the state of social media.

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2 comments on “Hot Take: Why I Hate Snapchat’s Super Bowl Ad”

  1. These Snapchat ads are all over Paramount +. I didn’t know much about Snapchat before the seeing the ads. I feel I know even less about it now and have no desire to learn more.

    1. “They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but ads like this may beg to differ!” - Anna

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